CUPE met with the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) on December 8 & 15, 2021. We have bargaining dates in January on the 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th. We have proposed dates in February and March and are waiting on the Employer to confirm.
Status of Bargaining
We were able to agree to more language proposals around Hours of Work and Leaves of Absence. There are a lot of rumours right now about what is or isn’t happening at bargaining. Please confirm with your site representative on any rumors you hear. There has been no offer on wage increases by the Employer yet. We have not started discussion on any monetary items, including wage increases.
Since we began bargaining the parties have exchanged 73 documents. Our original proposal package contained over 600 proposals. That did not include all the Letters of Understanding at the back of each collective agreement. We have agreed to approximately 30% of the language proposals. We understand we keep saying it is a slow process, but this is why. It is not just about getting a wage increase; we have to negotiate every item for your new collective agreement. The Bargaining Council asks for your continued patience as we fight for each of you. Our goal is to leave no health care worker behind.
Bill 28 – Public Services Sustainability Act (wage freeze)
The public sector unions, through the Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL), have filed an application to the Supreme Court of Canada. We reported that the MFL won the court case against Bill 28 a few months back. The government appealed that decision, and their appeal was upheld. This overturned the MFL’s win. However, because of the community’s pushback against Bill 28 the government, under Premier Stefanson, has repealed Bill 28 for now. There is concern that they may resurrect it under a new version in the future. Therefore, the MFL is taking their case to the Supreme Court. We expect this will be a lengthy process, but the wage freeze legislation being withdrawn should lift a cloud over our negotiations.
CUPE health care members should expect to see campaigns popping up across Manitoba in the new year, raising awareness about the important work health care support workers do, as well as calling on the government to support our members. We will also be launching campaigns building solidarity within the membership, because we will not win if we are divided.
CUPE also continues to advocate for safe workplaces, better staffing levels, and against government cuts to health care.
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe and joyous holiday season and all the best for 2022! Special thanks to all the health care workers who are working over the holiday season, and all those who have been working hard throughout another difficult year.
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