The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU) and the province have reached a tentative agreement on a contract for the future.

The SGEU declared an impasse with the province back in February, leading to the possibility of job action if the two sides couldn't reconcile their differences.

Now the two sides have reached a tentative agreement, with the Chair of the negotiating committee for the PS/GE Lori Bossaer saying it was a lengthy process.

"The government wasn't able to start bargaining with us until January of 2023, even though our contract ended in September of 22. So we started bargaining and it was just over a year of trying to get a deal at the table and we served an impasse in February of 24."

"The frustrating part is as we started mediation in March and what we agreed to during mediation, in our opinion from the union side, is it's something that we probably could have worked out in negotiations at the table rather than having to serve the impasse notice. So for us we just feel like it was to stall the process for us."

The tentative agreement does have some features which the union is happy to see.

"What's been agreed to is a three-year contract retro pay from 2022. So, 3 per cent First year, 3 per cent (second year) and 2 per cent (third year), 0.4 of that 2 per cent will go to all of the members that are not at the 9 per cent matched pension, and the remainder will go into the wage increases for the members. Besides that, there was some work done on the classification plan. With some relocation of some of the points in the cost planner, we were able to see an increase in the (wages) to 67 per cent of the membership." 

"There was some enhancements to things like the meal allowance, some weekend premium shift differential. There was some enhancement to some pilots within the fire program and an air ambulance. Some meals for firefighters when they're in a firefighting situation. That's to name a few."

Bossaer says the membership is ready to hear more about the agreement and set that to a vote. 

"The membership was really interested to hear what the entire Memorandum of Agreement looks like. So, we are in the process of setting up a meeting, virtual or in person. We're working on those details so that we can give the entire membership all the details they require to make an informed decision."

That will be the next big step for the union, as they represent many different workers in a lot of areas across the province.

"We have to try to make sure we can reach all 11,000 of our members to give them the information, what the changes mean, and then have the ability for them to vote after they have the information that they need. So, it does take time."

Bossaer says she's happy to see the tentative agreement go up for a vote and is anxious to see the eventual results.