Strike called after mediation fails at Saskatchewan technical college

The head of Saskatchewan’s largest technical college says the union representing striking workers is jeopardizing student learning.

REGINA — The head of Saskatchewan’s largest technical college says the union representing striking workers is jeopardizing student learning.

Hundreds of instructors and other staff are off the job at the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, which has campuses in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw.

SIAST president and CEO Bob McCulloch says mediation takes time, but the union never gave it a chance to work.

The Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union says negotiations ended when the college demanded that the union give up its right to strike.

The workers have been without a contract since 2009 and the union has rejected an offer of a 5 1/2 per cent wage increase over three years.

Ryan Andrews, president of the student association at the Moose Jaw campus, says there’s an atmosphere of uncertainty about what impact the strike will have on students.

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