SGEU warns about voting Sask Party

CBC Saskatchewan, 3 October 2003, 03:42 PM CDT

REGINA —The province's largest public sector union is warning its members how voting for the Saskatchewan Party may affect them. The Saskatchewan Government Employees Union (SGEU), which represents 20,000 workers, mailed out an elections guide that compares Opposition leader Elwin Hermanson to B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell. Public sector unions have been very critical of cuts to the public service since Gordon Campbell became Premier of British Columbia and the SGEU guide quotes Hermanson as watching Campbell's policies with great interest.

The guide is aimed at informing SGEU members about what issues should be important to them. Its cover asks members to Get the facts, Know the issues, and Question the candidates.

Even though SGEU president Bob Bymoen describes the guide as non-partisan, he acknowledges that he has criticized the Saskatchewan Party in the past.

If it shows support for the NDP over the Sask Party, then it's only because of what they stand for. I've been quoted previously saying that we don't support the Sask Party and I say that because of their positions that come out when it comes to providing public services in this province and the statements they have made about public servants in this province.

Bymoen says members may be feeling particularly vulnerable after some of their names showed up on an internal list of the Saskatchewan Party. Hermanson has said the list is nothing more than a standard research tool, while the NDP said it will be used to make cuts to the public service based on tenuous party affiliations.