Taking Action Now

Kent Peterson

Kent PetersonWhether on child care, precarious work, privatization, WCB coverage, harassment, or raising the minimum wage, Saskatchewan’s labour movement is taking action now. The federation of labour’s new campaign website – www.SFLActionNow.com – will become a hub for activities taking place across the province on issues important to workers.


For now, though, the website is asking visitors to add their voice in pushing back against the Sask. Party government’s most recent budget – a budget that is full of regressive tax hikes and heartless cuts.


More than pushing back, SFL: Action Now is about pushing forward.


That’s why we are putting forward progressive ideas that will make a real difference in the lives of Saskatchewan people. For example, the Sask. Party government has wasted millions of dollars on expensive and risky P3 privatization schemes. Those terrible backdoor deals have to go – for good. We need to ban P3 contacts.


On public services, we all know the Sask. Party government has to reverse the brutal cuts they made in last year’s budget and this year’s budget. But how about some respect for workers? I think we’re passed due for an apology from Scott Moe on his government’s plan to pickpocket 3.5% of wages from workers. While he’s at it, he can withdraw his just as unworkable plan to cut $70 million from public sector compensation.


On the minimum wage, the optimist in me says there’s only room for improvement. Saskatchewan has the absolute lowest minimum wage in Canada. That's embarrassing. When we raise the minimum wage, the extra money does not get stuffed into offshore tax shelters. It stays right here in our communities – creating good jobs and growing the economy. The Sask. Party government's 2018-2019 budget does not include any plans to raise the minimum wage. Saskatchewan workers are being left behind. We need a rapid phase-in to $15 per hour.


Finally, while workers and low-income families are being hit the hardest through increases in regressive flat taxes – like the PST – the rich and corporations are actually getting tax breaks in Saskatchewan. That’s just unbelievable. The Sask. Party government's 2018-2019 budget shows that only 4% of provincial revenue comes from corporations. We need a plan to restore balance in our tax system. It's time to shift to a fair taxation system. One that ensures the rich and corporations pay their fair share.


We can’t just fight for the status quo – we have to dream a little bigger than that. I’m asking you to join us by signing our petition at www.SFLActionNow.com as a first step making our progressive plan a reality.


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