City of Saskatoon employees will feel the pinch of an economy that’s taking longer than expected to recover

The City of Saskatoon’s largest Union’s new contract, which expires at the end of the year, includes retroactive raises of 0.5% last year and 1.5% in July

City council approved a two-year contract on Tuesday with substantially lower raises than those in the previous four-year deal for the city’s largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 59.

The collective agreement marks the second negotiated by the city since all but one expired at the end of 2016. The contract, which expires at the end of the year, includes retroactive raises of 0.5% last year and 1.5% in July.

The two per cent bump over two years is less than any of the single-year increases in the previous contract, which included annual raises of 2.5%, 2.2%, 2.65% and 2.65%. CUPE Local 59 represents about 1,500 city workers.

The deal was reached Sept. 13 and ratified by union members on Sept. 20. The lower increases should have been expected after the provincial Saskatchewan Party government slashed grants-in-lieu to municipalities in its March 2017 budget. Cities and towns across the province, including Saskatoon, were forced to revamp their budgets to find savings in light of the reduced provincial revenue.

The province restored some of that revenue in its budget earlier this year. The salary increases and term mirror that of the contract with CUPE Local 859, which represents outdoor city workers, that was settled in March.

That leaves six other union contracts outstanding, including those representing firefighters, police and transit workers.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 615 settled a four-year contract dispute at the end of 2016 that included a month-long lockout of workers in 2014. That contract expired in March 2017.

Saskatoon’s economic growth, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), is projected to be 2.2% this year, about half of last year’s 4.1% growth, according to the Conference Board of Canada. Last year’s growth followed two years of minor GDP contractions.

Updated: September 27, 2018

Management Review

Management Review
August 29, 2018

The start of September marks the end of summer vacation for students, shorter days and crisp mornings. I always welcome this change of seasons and have many fond memories of getting my five daughters back into their school routine. For our employees at the City, it’s a time to reflect on all the great work that happened over the summer months. We should feel proud that our residents have benefited from the care and attention to our parks, the leisure programs that kept families busy, the maintenance and renewal of our numerous facilities and the many road, water and sewer projects completed in construction zones.

This time of year also means budget preparations, planning for next year, and preparing for our final quarter of the year. We’ve been out in the community encouraging registration for our fall recreation programming, promoting our transit service and soon, will be reminding residents to visit our leaf and yard depots. This fall we will be engaging our residents about the City’s budgeting process, as well as undertaking the Citizen Satisfaction Survey. We want residents to reflect on their priorities and be aware of the challenges we face balancing the cost of delivering programs and services, investing for the future, replacing and rebuilding infrastructure all while considering affordable and reasonable property tax increases.

Another initiative starting in September is a review of our management structure. To achieve the City’s vision, we need to ensure that we have effective structures in place at the executive and senior leadership level. Over the next eight weeks we will take the opportunity to analyze our current structure, look for gaps, and assess the needs of the organization for the future. This is important work to put our organization in a position where we continue to deliver reliable programs and services to residents.

Recently we’ve received preliminary results of the Employee Engagement Survey. We will soon be in a position to communicate those results, begin conversations and develop engagement plans to take action. I want to acknowledge and thank you for the many examples of our One City-One Team principle that I observed while visiting workplaces and teams this summer. I continue to be encouraged when I see different areas working together collaboratively, sharing information to improve processes and getting results for individuals and families within our community.

As always, I am committed to open dialogue on making positive changes to our organization.

Enjoy the last long weekend of the summer.

It would be appreciated if this message could be posted for your colleagues who may not have access to a computer

Chris Holden
City Manager

Preferred Partner Program

Introducing the *new and improved* “Preferred Partner Program”

With feedback from our valued corporate clients about the $100 discount on prescription eyewear, we are very happy to introduce the new and improved offer…

Effective immediately, the new and improved “Preferred Partner Program” gives all CUPE Local 21 members (and each of your dependants) the option for Any Promotion, Any Time.  All you need to do is print the attached coupon to have the choice of any one of the following of the best 6 promotions, any day of the year, at any of their store locations across western Canada:

  • 40% OFF a single complete pair purchase
  • 50% OFF lenses with or without a frame purchase (single pair offer)
  • 50% OFF frames with the purchase of prescription lenses (single pair offer)
  • 2 for 1 + 50% OFF lens coatings, lens treatments and lens upgrades
  • 2 for 1 + one complete kids’ pair FREE
  • 2 for 1 + FREE Polarization

You will also be offered corporate pricing on prescription Safety Eyewear if you need them.

Click HERE for locations of Optiks International (AB and BC) and Factory Optical (SK) stores.

Attached is a full description of the offers.  Please contact _INSERT INTERNAL CONTACT NAME/INFO__ if there are any questions regarding this offer.

Preferred Partner ProgramAPAT_Workplace Summary_CUPE Local 21_June 2018

Problems at Work?

If you have a Collective Agreement (CA) question, possible violation or other workplace concerns, contact the Union office at:

• (306) 352-8282
• Main office email:
Leave a brief message and a contact number.

Here are the 6 W’s to remember when filing a grievance:

Depending upon the nature of your problem, a grievance may be filed on your behalf. It is important that the grievance is presented factually when filing. As a member who is filing a grievance, you need to ensure that you give as many of the facts as possible.

1. WHO: is involved? The members full name, employer, branch or division, title and job classification. Name and title of supervisors or witness’s need to be accurate.

2. WHAT: happened that caused the violation? Disciplinary action? Substitution pay not given? Safety violations? You need the story of what occurred in chronological order.

3. WHEN: did the violation occur? Ensure dates and times are included. Include how often and how long?

4. WHERE: did it occur? Give exact location or locations if event occurred in different places. Have pictures or drawings if applicable.

5. WHY: is this considered to be a grievance or complaint? Was there a direct violation of an article(s) in the collective agreement? A violation of an Act or Code, an arbitral award, past practice issue?

6. WANT: this relates to adjustments that are required by the union to correct the injustice. Always ask for “full redress” in order to make the member whole, ie., all wages lost, file cleared, vacation returned

Union Notification

The L21 office is going green!

Although it’s impossible to have a completely paperless office / workplace, we have begun the process of converting existing office documents to digital format, as well as future communications such as meeting notices, periodic updates, upcoming functions, events and action alerts being available on line at and/ or provided to you via your personal email address.

Please provide us with your personal email address or any changes to by sending it to
Confidentiality will be respected and protected.

We ask that you visit the website regularly in order to ensure that you are aware of any and all of the above-mentioned notifications.

Some advantages to this direction are:
• better office organization
• cost effective
• better service to our members
• beneficial to the environment.

If you have a CBA matter or require general information please utilize the main office email:

Want to get involved? Want to volunteer some of your free time to help out with union activities? If so, please contact the union office.