BULLETIN NO. 2

CUPE ManitobaBargaining Updates, PHCC Main

POLITICAL UPDATE

March 15, 2017

Premier Brian Pallister has his mind made up. Instead of coming to the bargaining table and negotiating, he’s going to use his majority in the legislature to get his way.

In the election, Brian Pallister promised to protect public services and the workers who deliver them. But as Premier, he has talked openly about legislating wage settlements, making changes to pensions and forcing workers to take unpaid time off.

Without any explanation, Premier Pallister has said that he will reduce the number of Collective Agreements in the health care sector. All this while refusing to respond to requests from your union to begin the bargaining process for Collective Agreements that expire this month. But we’ll keep pushing and we are ready to begin bargaining as soon as possible.

As you know, health care unions and the Manitoba Federation of Labour have been meeting with government representatives as a part of a Health Care Working Group. Throughout these meetings, our focus has been on ensuring the best possible care for Manitobans and respect for the demanding work of health care professionals like you.

As a united group of health care sector unions, we have taken the position that the decisions that members have already made about their union membership should be respected – government should not force new representation votes. CUPE remains committed to working with the government to find better ways to deliver health care services for families, but representation votes will only disrupt an already strained system.

We will keep pressing the government to finally come to the table and answer the many questions that workers and your union have. And we’ll keep fighting for you.

For more information, contact your local union, your PHCC Representative or your CUPE National Servicing Representative.

PHCC_Bargaining_Bulletin_No_2

CUPE: Pallister’s PC MLA wage freeze is not genuine

CUPE ManitobaPHCC News

WINNIPEG – The Canadian Union of Public Employees Manitoba is frustrated with today’s Conservative Party update on MLAs’ wages, and calls on Premier Pallister to get back to protecting public services.

“Today, Brian Pallister has once again disappointed us,” said Kelly Moist, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Manitoba. “The Premier and his cabinet took 20% salary increases on their first day in office, then froze minimum wage. After taking home an extra $21,000, Brian Pallister wants us to believe he’s taking a wage freeze. This is not genuine.”

The large 2016 wage increase for cabinet ministers and the Premier met with opposition. Premier Pallister stated today that PC MLAs are committing to paying back their increase for 2017, but questions remain. If salary scales and benefits continue to increase during the supposed wage freeze, MLAs may end up with a large pay increase after the next election. CUPE points out that such arrangements were not offered to public sector employees when they took a two-year wage freeze in the last round of bargaining.

“A full-time Education Assistant in Portage la Prairie earns annual wages of $22,000 to $25,000,” continued Moist. “The cost of the Premier’s 2016 pay increase would cover an EA’s wages in his home town for a year. It’s a slap in the face that the Premier is telling workers, unionized or not, to tighten our belts.”

Like other Manitobans, CUPE members rely on good public services and expect our government to make reasonable decisions. CUPE believes the Manitoba economy is stable, and that Premier Pallister should be making better choices.

“There is still time before the provincial budget is released to do the right thing. We urge Brian Pallister to protect public services and public service workers like he promised he would. We urge the Premier to meet us at the bargaining table and negotiate fair contracts,” said Moist.

“After all, a deal is deal.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million members.  In Manitoba, CUPE represents approximately 26,000 members working in health care facilities, personal care homes, school divisions, municipal services, social services, child care centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services.

 

 

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