BREAKING: Court ruling finds Pallister’s wage freeze bill unconstitutional

Manitoba’s largest public sector union applauds Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench Justice McKelvey’s ruling that the Public Services Sustainability Act (PSSA) is unconstitutional.

CUPE and other unions through the Manitoba Federation of Labour’s Partnership to Defend Public Services brought Pallister’s government to court, and won.

“Brian Pallister has been pushing ideological cuts to public services, and attempted to do so by violating our constitutional right to bargain collective agreements,” said Abe Araya, President of CUPE Manitoba. “Pallister lost in court today, but the fight against his austerity agenda isn’t over”.

CUPE provided testimony during the proceedings.

Now that the PSSA has been proven unconstitutional in court, CUPE intends to move swiftly to get to the bargaining table with the intent to negotiate fair deals for the thousands of Manitoba workers, including in health care, education, crown corporations, child care, social services, and more who have been without a contract for over four years.

“Manitoba’s public sector workforce has been on the front-lines fighting COVID-19, and now we are asking Manitobans to support us as we get back to the negotiating table” says Araya.

“CUPE has very straight forward demands: we want a fair deal for workers. But Pallister has made it clear that he is willing to violate constitutional rights to push workers down and that’s something we, and the courts, won’t accept”.

CUPE Manitoba extends our deepest gratitude to the work of the Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck, as well as the hard working staff at the MFL for the countless hours of work put into this fight.

We also extend our congratulations and thanks to all the other members of the PPDS which include unions from across the province for working together through challenging times.

See link for the decision summary provided by representatives of Myers LLP:

If you would like the full decision (download .pdf)

This was won by Manitoba’s labour movement, working together.