Update on WRHA Changes and ER Closures

Dear CUPE Members,

As you have undoubtedly heard, the WRHA has announced a major overhaul of the health care system in Winnipeg.

The Pallister Conservative Government is no friend to public health care in Manitoba, and we must remain vigilant and united to counter these attacks.

This is only the first major attack on public health care in Manitoba, and it won’t be the last. Premier Pallister promised to protect public services and the workers who provide them, and he hasn’t done this.

CUPE members can help one another by standing together in these challenging times. We are here for you.

In addition to the closure of ERs and “shuffling” of other departments, the announcement also indicated that the WRHA will be reviewing “cost saving and sustainability” measures for laundry, food, management, and purchasing.

In Saskatchewan, health care restructuring resulted in cuts to services, privatized MRIs, and contracted-out laundry services – all of which has resulted in a weaker health care system.

CUPE has the resources and expertise to push back against plans to contract out or privatize health care services, and we count on you – as front-line CUPE activists – to tell us what is happening on the ground.
In this fight you are not alone. The full strength of CUPE’s 640,000 members from across the country is behind you.

We are building a strong network of CUPE health care activists to fight back against Pallister’s attacks. Only together can we win this fight.

What does this mean for me?

We don’t have all the answers yet. There are protections in your collective agreements in the event of lay-offs and deleted positions. These include the ability to “bump” based on seniority. There is also the mobility agreement which protects your seniority and years of service (vacation entitlement) during program transfers (such as mental health programs being moved to only a few sites).

What can I do?

Get informed. Share your information with CUPE. Please go to phcc.cupe.ca and enter your e-mail in the “Stay Informed” section on the right side of the page to receive updates on upcoming actions and fight-backs against Pallister’s cuts. We will be asking you to take action in the coming days and weeks.

We understand this is a stressful time for employees. Every employee of the WRHA has access to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which is a free, confidential counselling service.

In Solidarity,

Kelly Moist, President CUPE Manitoba

Debbie Boissonneault, Chair Provincial Health Care Council

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