Bargaining Update: Interest Arbitration Ruling

CUPE ManitobaBargaining Updates

On April 30th, CUPE received the final decision provided by the Arbitrator with respect to your new collective agreement. While we did not achieve everything that we hoped, there are a number of significant victories for us in this Award. As a result of CUPE’s bargaining efforts and our ability to push back against the Employer demands for concessions, the new contract will be an improvement over the previous contract.

Now that the Award has been issued “the Employer is obligated to provide all retroactive wage adjustments within 120 calendar days” (by August 28th) of issuance of the Award. These wages apply to all health care support unions, including CUPE.

The agreed to general salary increases* are: Ÿ  2.5% effective April 1, 2014 

2.5% effective April 1, 2015

Ÿ  2.0% effective April 1, 2016

*Professional/Technical and Nurse classifications under the PHCC have separate Letters of Understanding outlining their salary increases.

There is also an additional 2% long service increment effective October 1, 2014, for all employees once they reach over 20 years of service and are at the top of their pay scale.

CUPE was successful in this round of bargaining in forcing the Employer to remove numerous concessions from the table. This included over 100 individual concessions that CUPE was able to push back against.

As an example, some of the concessions the Employer had to remove were: different rates of pay for part-time and full-time employees who work overtime on their day off; limiting compensation when the Employer changes an employee’s shift on short notice; creating two-tier wages for retail food services and making them casual employees; and limiting the ability of employees to attend medical appointments during their working hours.

Below are highlights of a number of key items in the interest arbitration. For more information on the total package, including agreed-to items specific to your workplace, please see the drop-down menu above (Bargaining Updates).

Diagnostic Services of Manitoba, Inc. (DSM) – Medical Lab Assistants

The Arbitrator ruled in favour of the Union with respect to the DSM Medical Lab Assistants who have been incorrectly paid for several years. This means DSM Medical Lab Assistants have finally achieved wage parity.

Vacation Language

The Arbitrator did not rule in favour of the Union’s proposal to amend the vacation to working days from our existing block vacations. Part of the Arbitrator’s rationale was based on his view that there should be further attempts by the Parties (the Employer and the Union) to negotiate these types of operational changes before an Arbitrator can impose an award on the Parties.

Shift Premiums

The Award was not in our favour with respect to the shift premiums consistent with the recent Manitoba Nurses’ Union settlement. However, we were able to negotiate an increase to your shift premiums. As a result, the new shift premiums will be as follows:

Night PremiumŸ

$1.90/hr effective April 1, 2016Ÿ

$2.05/hr effective October 1, 2016

Weekend PremiumŸ

$1.50/hr effective April 1, 2016Ÿ

$1.65/hr effective October 1, 2016

Leave of Absence

The Arbitrator ruled in favour of the Employer with respect to continuing the practice of the employee paying both the employee’s and Employer’s benefit contributions when on an unpaid leave of absence.

Rate of Pay for Attendance at Training and Staff Meetings

CUPE proposed the deletion of Article 1721 as it allows the Employer to pay for the attendance at educational events and staff meetings at straight time regardless if the hours worked are in excess of the normal regular full-time hours of work. Because this type of language is contained in many other health care support union collective agreements the Arbitrator felt that there was no justification to remove it.

Local 4270 (Southern Health – Santé Sud)

The Employer took the position that as a result of the representation votes for this amalgamated bargaining unit, CUPE was the successor union and therefore CUPE’s existing collective agreement should prevail over the entire bargaining. The Arbitrator accepted that there has been a past practice established that supported the Employer’s proposal and therefore accepted the Employer’s proposal.

Mount Carmel Clinic Childcare

The Award is in favour of the Union regarding the general salary increases for the childcare workers at Mount Carmel Clinic. The Employer argued that some of these employees’ general salary increases should be tied to the Employer receiving funding increases for this program. The Union argued that these employees should receive the same general salary increases as all other CUPE health care support workers.

Conclusion

Overall, in addition to the improvements negotiated through this round of collective bargaining, this Award gives CUPE members significant gains that we would not have achieved without interest arbitration. On the issue where we did not achieve what we were seeking, the Arbitrator’s ruling places us in a very good position going into future rounds of negotiations.

Please see the drop-down menu above (Bargaining Updates) to view all agreed-to items and improvements to your contract that may apply to your own individual worksite.

CUPE members should be proud of their Bargaining Committee’s dedication to fighting and pushing for a better contract.

You’re invited to a Telephone Town HallCUPE will be hosting a telephone Town Hall on Thursday, May 14th at 6 pm.We will be calling your home with an invitation to participate.In this Town Hall we will be providing you more details and answering any additional questions you may have.If you are unable to make the Town Hall, please keep in mind that we will be visiting worksites across Manitoba, so stay tuned for further information.