Staff at the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba (WCB) have provided the WCB with five working days’ notice that unless the WCB offers a fair deal, they will officially be on strike.
“Staff at the WCB have been without a new contract for over two years,” said Bob Sawchyn, President of CUPE Local 1063 representing approximately 450 staff at the WCB. “It is unacceptable that our employer continues to drag its feet and refuses to offer a fair deal that works for workers–we have reached an impasse at the table and are now in a strike position.”
Strike action will begin on Tuesday, March 21, 2023, unless the employer returns to the table with a deal that is acceptable to workers.
The Workers Compensation Board is an arms-length independent agency of the provincial government and has achieved year-end surpluses in recent years that have resulted in over $277 million in refunds back to employers. Yet the staff, who were subjected to the Pallister/Stefanson wage freeze in the last round of negotiations cannot accept another deal that leaves them behind.
“The hardworking staff at the WCB have helped achieve surpluses year after year, and continue to focus diligently to help Manitoba workers,” emphasized Sawchyn. “Never in our over fifty-year history with the WCB has CUPE ever had to commence strike action, but we are ready because all workers deserve better.”
CUPE 1063 provided a five-day strike notice on Monday, March 13. Strike action will include WCB staff in Winnipeg, Brandon, and Thompson.
In Manitoba, CUPE represents approximately 37,000 members working in health care facilities, personal care homes, home care, school divisions, municipal services, social services, child care centres, public utilities, libraries, and family emergency services.