7.5% Wage Rollback (30 Years Onward)

Posted May 9, 2024, 12:12pm

In May of 1994, the province’s Liberal government decided to break collective agreements with Unions across Prince Edward Island.

We’ve had 30 years since this time to reflect on the importance of collective bargaining and workers’ rights, and to pay homage to the hard-working Islanders and union members who continue to bargain in good faith for fair wages, equal opportunities, and better working conditions.

Collective agreements are legally binding contracts between employers and unions that outline the terms and conditions of employment. When a government breaches a collective agreement, it not only violates the law but also infringes on the rights of workers.

The government of the time acted with full awareness and intention to break collective agreements by imposing wage cuts (7.5% and 3.25%) on public sector workers and suspending collective bargaining for a year.

Thousands of union members united in PEI’s largest-ever labour protest to oppose the cuts. This historic event is a poignant reminder for Unions and their members to show solidarity in opposition to unlawful attacks on their rights. It’s also a stark reminder for governments to respect the law and labour rights, and to bargain in good faith.

As we remember this event, let’s continue to strive towards a brighter future for all workers where they are valued, respected, and treated with fairness and dignity.

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