The Manitoba Progressive Conservatives announced a cabinet shuffle the same day the provinces hit historic hospitalizations for COVID-19, leaving little encouragement for the thousands of front-line workers screaming out for help.
“Instead of focusing on supporting front-line workers, the government has been playing musical chairs” said Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba.
“No cabinet shuffle is going to make Manitobans forget the damage this government has done to our public services, and with little to no COVID wage top up for support workers going into the 4th wave, the excruciating demands on these workers to carry this burden is wearing thin”.
CUPE Manitoba is calling on the government to invest heavily in public services, provide COVID PPE and testing to all public sector workers, and ensure fair compensation for the front-line workers who have seen the province through the pandemic.
“If the PCs want to address the ever-increasing demands on all sectors of work in Manitoba, they need to take immediate action” said McKay. “With their popularity and confidence at an all-time low, they need to step up and support the thousands of Manitoba workers who are tired of carrying the impacts of a COVID response that does not centre their work and contributions. And it is these workers who are going to get us through this”.
CUPE Manitoba is pleased to see a new Minister of Labour but is cautious about the PC’s continued austerity agenda.
“We are concerned that the new Minister of Labour is appointed to continue the PC agenda of undermining workers through legislation and wage cuts”, said McKay.
“If the new Minister of Labour is willing to work with us and address the serious public sector staffing shortages, oppose privatization, and address wage discrepancies across Manitoba, then we are ready to talk and help bring meaningful solutions to the challenges at hand”.
CUPE Manitoba will be reaching out to meet with the new Ministers to discuss how they can support front-line Manitoba workers.