CUPE health care bargaining update #6, June, 2021

The CUPE Bargaining Council and the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) met on May 11, 19, and June 2, 2021.  The next dates we have set to meet with the PHLRS are June 9, 16 and 23, 2021.  We have proposed dates to meet for July and August.


Status of Proposals

CUPE knows that health care workers have been waiting too long for a new contract.  On May 19th, CUPE took a strong position that if the Employer did not provide all of the outstanding proposals, we would not be able to continue negotiations.  CUPE wants to get you a fair and reasonable collective agreement.  On June 2nd, the Employer finally provided the outstanding proposals with the exception of one.  We are still discussing the language of the collective agreement.


Wages & Benefits

All unions, including CUPE through the Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL) won in court against the government’s wage freeze law.  The government brought the judge’s decision to the Court of Appeal on June 2nd and we are awaiting that decision.  We are confident that the government will lose again.


CUPE has been pushing to discuss monetary items including wages but the Employer has not brought forward any monetary proposals yet.



Previously we shared that there was an issue with the application of seniority and how it would work when applying for jobs.  We believed we had resolved that issue but the Employer has taken the position they cannot agree with our proposal.  The Bargaining Council is working to address this issue.


Strike/Job Action

The CUPE Bargaining Council may call on the members for a strike mandate (vote) to support their efforts at the bargaining table.  Normally, unions do not call for a strike vote until there is a significant break down in the negotiations.  We are not at that point quite yet but CUPE has begun preparations in case we need to call for a strike vote.


A strike committee has met and are preparing for the potential of a province-wide strike.  We are not calling for a strike vote yet but the preparation required for 18,000 members to go on strike is huge and that is why we must start preparing now.


Before any health care union can go on strike an Essential Services Agreement (ESA) must be negotiated. This is law.  CUPE is negotiating updated ESAs with the Employers.  The Bargaining Council may be calling on members for information regarding staffing levels and required duties for each classification at your site.  The Essential Services Act (Health Care) of Manitoba requires the unions to provide essential care so as not to affect the “life and limb” of clients/patients/residents.


Please make sure we have your most recent contact information, including cell phone number and personal email.  We do not use work contact information to reach you for union business.  If you have any questions or comments, please send an email to