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March 4, 2013
Saskatchewan premier vows to pass labour legislation
Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says the government will move ahead with plans to pass new labour legislation this spring despite a plea to slow down.
“There’s been a lot of consultation on the labour legislative changes that we’ve made,” Wall said.
“Government has withdrawn various ideas that we presented to stakeholders because of that input. There’s been basically a year for consultation, for commentary, for input.”
“And, I think we have a balanced piece here that’s ready to move forward now to passage,” he added.
The Saskatchewan Employment Act melds 12 workplace-related pieces of legislation into one omnibus bill.
Among other things, the proposed legislation states that people with disabilities can’t be paid a lower minimum wage.
The legislation allows for people to work either five eight-hour days a week or four 10-hour days a week.
The qualifying period for maternity, parental and adoption leave would lower to 13 weeks from 20 weeks.
On the labour relations front, the legislation would enshrine a 14-day cooling-off period before a strike or lockout could happen in the event of contract talks breaking down.
Unions could still fine members who crossed picket lines, but they’d have to get a court order to collect.
But, nine union leaders who were on the government’s advisory committee said that the bill deals with more issues than the committee considered.
They said there should be a fuller review on the intent of the changes and whether there could be unintended consequences.
The act will be considered when the spring sitting of the legislature starts March 4.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
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