Health Care Bargaining Update, Dec 17, 2021

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  However, because of the community’s pushback against Bill 28 the government, under Premier Stefanson, has repealed Bill 28 for now.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  We expect this will be a lengthy process, but the wage freeze legislation being withdrawn should lift a cloud over our negotiations.

Campaign

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.

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 healthcare@cupe.ca.

Health Care Bargaining Update, December 2, 2021

CUPE met with the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) on October 27, November 3, 10, 17 and December 1, 2021.  Negotiations are ongoing, and we are calling on the PHLRS to leave no healthcare worker behind.

Status of Bargaining

The Bargaining Council has agreed to some language proposals.  Some of these include maternity/parental leave, emergency leave, emergency and disaster planning, whistle blower protection, union security, respectful workplace and non-discrimination/harassment, many definitions, grievance and arbitration rules and many more.

The Bargaining Council is having to fight for every proposal.  It is not like any other bargaining that has come before.  This is why bargaining seems to be taking so long – we are working article by article to make sure no health worker is left behind.

Discussions are ongoing regarding job security, vacation, hours of work, scheduling, overtime, and layoff/recall.  Wage increases are still to be discussed as well as market adjustments.

 

Bill 28 – Public Services Sustainability Act (wage freeze 0, 0, 0.75 and 1%)

The government announced last week that they will be repealing or cancelling this legislation.  CUPE and the other public sector unions had taken the government to court over this wage freeze legislation.  The Unions won but the government appealed that decision.  The appeal judge overturned the decision.  Despite this, the government felt the pressure from unions, including CUPE, and is withdrawing the legislation altogether.  We continue to work with the Manitoba Federation of Labour on legal routes to ensure governments cannot interfere with bargaining.  This is an important victory for CUPE members.  The Bargaining Council had no intention of accepting the mandated wage freeze but having this pressure removed means we can bargain a fair wage increase at the table.

We have bargaining dates scheduled to the end of January 2022.

 

Strike

Negotiations are continuing and we are making progress.  We understand it is slow.  Fighting to maintain the protections and rules in the collective agreement takes time.  After the representation votes members from many different unions came to CUPE.  Their collective agreements have different and unique language that we are trying to maintain such as language for hours of work, shift schedule rules, overtime, and shift premiums, just to name a few.

It is very important that we fight to maintain this collective agreement language, but that will unfortunately take a lot of time.  There were over 123 collective agreements that are merging into one province-wide collective agreement.

While negotiations continue, we will not serve notice to strike.  In August, healthcare support workers took a strike vote to show the employers that we are serious about leaving no healthcare worker behind.  If negotiations break down, we will be ready to strike.  We’re not quite at that point.

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 healthcare@cupe.ca.

School Support Staff at Lord Selkirk School Division Ratify Collective Agreement

SELKIRK, MB – Education assistants, custodians, school librarians, secretaries, and other support staff at the Lord Selkirk School Division have voted in favour of a new collective agreement.

“School support staff at Lord Selkirk School Division have been on the frontlines keeping our kids safe throughout the pandemic and have dedicated every moment to supporting the education of our students,” says Karen Sinnock, President of CUPE 1522.

“We are pleased that the Lord Selkirk School Division has offered us a fair deal that is in line with what teachers and support staff represented by CUPE in other school divisions received.”

CUPE 1522 had a strike mandate from members, and organized information pickets to raise awareness across Selkirk about the value of school support staff.

CUPE 1522 and the Lord Selkirk School Division agreed to the same four-year deal that teachers across Manitoba received: 1.6%, 1.4%, 0.5%, and cost-of-living adjustment.

Twenty-three other CUPE locals have already settled this same agreement between school divisions in Manitoba and support staff represented by CUPE.

Custodians and cleaners at Rolling River School Division represented by CUPE 1630 are entering their fourth week on strike and are asking for the same.

“At this point the Rolling River School Division is putting our schools at risk, while stubbornly refusing to offer what everyone else is offering,” said Kevin Jay, President of CUPE 1630.

“Rolling River School Division needs to step up, offer us the same deal, and let us get back to work.”

Rolling River School Division Custodians and Cleaners Set Strike Date

MINNEDOSA, MB – Custodians and cleaners at the Rolling River School Division have notified the school board that they will begin legal strike action on Monday, November 1, 2021, at 12:00 am. 

 

“We have done everything to try to prevent a strike, but the Rolling River School Division has left us little choice,” said Kevin Jay, President of CUPE 1630, representing the division’s 21 custodians and cleaners. “All we are asking for is the same respect that teachers and other support staff in Manitoba have already received.”

CUPE 1630 are asking for the same four-year deal that teachers across Manitoba received: 1.6%, 1.4%, 0.5%, and cost-of-living adjustment.

Twenty-four CUPE locals have already settled this agreement between school divisions in Manitoba and support staff represented by CUPE.

“What we’re feeling is that custodians and cleaners in Rolling River School Division aren’t worth the same as in Winnipeg and other divisions,” said Jay. “We urge the school board to make the right call and offer us the same deal as everyone else so we can focus on our jobs—keeping schools safe and clean.”

The strike will begin at the Minnedosa Collegiate and the Rolling River School Division Board Office at 154 3rd Avenue SE, Minnedosa, Manitoba.

School support staff in two Manitoba school divisions prepare to strike

Selkirk, Minnedosa, MB  – Education Assistants, custodians, school librarians, and secretaries at the Lord Selkirk School Division are preparing for job action following the School Board’s refusal to offer a fair contract, says CUPE Local 1522, representing approximately 300 support staff.

Approximately 21 custodians and cleaners at Rolling River School Division represented by CUPE Local 1630 are also in a strike position, with 93% in favour of strike action.

“School support staff at Lord Selkirk School Division have been on the front line keeping our kids safe throughout the pandemic, and have dedicated every moment to supporting the education of our students,” says Karen Sinnock, President of CUPE Local 1522.  “Parents and the community know that these workers are valuable, yet the School Board refuses to acknowledge these staff.”

CUPE 1522 will be organizing information pickets in the coming weeks to raise awareness across Selkirk about the Board’s refusal to recognize school support staff.

CUPE 1522 and CUPE 1630 are asking for the same four-year deal that teachers across Manitoba received: 1.6%, 1.4%, 0.5%, and cost of living adjustment.

Twenty-four CUPE locals have already settled this agreement between school divisions in Manitoba and support staff represented by CUPE.

“Staff at Rolling River feel disrespected, undervalued and feel that they deserve nothing less than many other School Division teachers and support staff across Manitoba have received at the bargaining table”, said Kevin Jay, President of CUPE 1630.

CUPE Local 1522 and CUPE Local 1630 have a strike mandates from their membership and are in the process of preparing for job action.

CUPE Health Care Bargaining Update, October 14, 2021

CUPE has been fighting for you at the bargaining table.  CUPE met with the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) on September 1, 8, 21, 29 and October 6, 2021.  Negotiations are ongoing, and we are calling on the PHLRS to leave no health care worker behind.

Status of Bargaining

Progress is being made in bargaining around the language proposals. The big issues at the table right now include vacation, hours of work, scheduling, overtime, and layoff/recall.

We are finally able to begin discussions about monetary matters.  Wage increases are still to be discussed as well as market adjustments.

Seniority

It was decided that the issue of how seniority will be applied would be sent to the Commissioner (who was responsible for the health care amalgamations) for mediation.

CUPE and the Employer representatives met with the Commissioner to discuss the seniority issue.  The Commissioner ruled that seniority needs to match the support sector bargaining units (Facility Support and Community Support) that were split by the representation votes.  We will work towards resolving the seniority issue with that understanding.

MNU (the nurses) have reached a tentative agreement, which is great news.  CUPE is pushing for support staff negotiations to be the priority and is launching a public campaign to bring attention to health care support staff.

Essential Services and Strike

CUPE continues to negotiate essential services agreements.  We are required by law, to have an essential services agreement in place before we can go on strike.  Most of these agreements are now completed.

In the event we do call for a strike, we have prepared some questions and answers for you. Download the Strike Q & A Here.

The next bargaining dates are:

  • October 27th;
  • November 3rd, 10th and 17th;
  • December 1st.

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 healthcare@cupe.ca.

Winnipeg School Division custodians, trades ratify new agreement

WINNIPEG – School custodians, trades, and mechanics represented by CUPE
Local 110 and the Winnipeg School Division have ratified a new collective agreement.

“Custodians, tradespeople, and mechanics have been critical throughout the pandemic in helping keep our schools safe and running,” says Rick Peschel, President of CUPE 110.

“Our members were prepared to strike to achieve a new agreement, and we are relieved that the School Board made the right decision.”

Wage increases are in line with recently negotiated teacher’s agreements and are retroactive: 1.6% in 2019, 1.4% in 2020, 0.5% in 2021, and a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2022.

The agreement between CUPE 110 and the Winnipeg School Division is yet another CUPE school sector agreement that is above the province’s unfair wage mandate.

“The provincial Conservatives really tried to hold school support staff back,” said Peschel.

“It shouldn’t take a potential strike for leaders to acknowledge the hard work of front-line staff, but we are glad the Winnipeg School Division finally pulled through.”

CUPE 110 represents approximately 400 school support staff at the Winnipeg School Division, including custodians, trades, bus mechanics, and more.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees represents approximately 6,000 education workers, including education assistants, custodians, bus drivers, clerical, library technicians, intercultural liaisons, and more in 25 school boards across Manitoba.

Winnipeg School Division custodians, trades, urge Board of Trustees to settle contract ahead of potential strike

School custodians, trades, painters, and maintenance workers are calling on the Winnipeg School Division (WSD) Board of Trustees to settle contract negotiations at their regular board meeting on Monday, October 4, 2021, or face potential job action. 

 

“The Winnipeg School Division has failed to negotiate a new contract for the frontline staff who have been responsible for keeping our schools clean and running, especially throughout the pandemic,” says Rick Peschel, President of CUPE Local 110.  “We hoped the Board of Trustees would have settled this contract before the school year started, but they have shown very little leadership despite frontline staff continuing to work incredibly hard throughout the pandemic.”  

 

The Winnipeg School Division forced school bus drivers to strike in 2020 during the school year, as well as pushing teachers to the edge this summer, now they are pushing custodians over too, explains CUPE 110.

CUPE 110 is asking for the same four-year deal that teachers in the division received: 1.6%, 1.4%, 0.5%, and cost of living adjustment. 

Many other school divisions in Manitoba have already settled this agreement with support staff represented by CUPE.

“The WSD lost the school bus driver arbitration, they took the teachers arbitration settlement, and somehow they think the results here are going to be different for hard-working support staff?” said Peschel.  “We have been very patient with this Board to date, and we ask that the Board settle our contract on Monday so we can focus on keeping our schools clean, safe, and running.” 

 

CUPE Local 110 has a strike mandate from its membership and is in the process of preparing for job action. 

School division support staff accept new agreements, avoid strike before start of the school year

School support staff at the River East Transcona School Division and Prairie Rose School Division have tentatively accepted a new collective agreement, while clerical, IT, and library techs at Seven Oaks School Division ratified a new agreement last night.

These school divisions have avoided a strike that could have begun as early as this week, says CUPE.

“Hours before support staff were to begin a legal strike, the River East Transcona School Board agreed to settle a fair contract with its workers,” says Lee McLeod, CUPE Regional Director.  “We thank all staff and the Board of Trustees at River East Transcona School Division, Prairie Rose, and Seven Oaks School Division for working hard to achieve a fair deal, especially with the provincial government’s continued efforts to hold school support staff back.”

Brandon School Division (CUPE 737) has also recently achieved a new collective agreement following a strong strike mandate from staff.

While the provincial government has said it will not pursue Bill 64, The Education Modernization Act, they have yet to fill the funding gap created by underfunding in the education sector and the phase-out of the education property tax or repeal their wage freeze mandate.

The new agreements between CUPE and River East Transcona School Division, Seven Oaks School Division, Prairie Rose School Division and Brandon School Division ensure school support staff receive raises that are consistent with those recently negotiated by other CUPE Locals and other unions in Manitoba, including the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, and are retroactive:  1.6% in 2019, 1.4% in 2020, and 0.5% in 2021 and cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2022.

“CUPE school support staff have been leaders in pushing for fair wage settlements, despite the provincial government’s attempts to undervalue their worth,” said McLeod.  “We hope other school divisions follow suit and recognize what parents and the community already know: school support staff are the pillars of our education system and deserve fairness.”

Other school divisions represented by CUPE that have reached agreements outside the province’s attempted mandate includes St. James-Assiniboia School Division, Sunrise School Division, Interlake School Division, Evergreen School Division, and Turtle River School Division.  CUPE thanks the Boards of Trustees of all these school divisions for their leadership in advance of the new school year.

Seven Oaks School Division custodians and bus drivers will hold a ratification meeting next week.

Negotiations are ongoing in other school divisions, including Pine Creek, Portage la Prairie, and Park West School Division where CUPE-represented support staff currently have strike mandates.

Custodians, trades, and maintenance staff at the Winnipeg School Division are also currently in a strike position and could set up picket lines in the coming weeks if the Board continues to prevent a fair settlement in line with other divisions.

 

CUPE health care support staff send a strong message voting overwhelmingly to strike

WINNIPEG – Health care support staff in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), Shared Health, Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) and Southern Health-Santé Sud (SH-SS) have sent a strong message to their employers by voting 97% in favour of strike action.

“Health care support staff in the WRHA and Shared Health have voted to strike because they are fed up with the government’s inability to recognize their value,” said Shannon McAteer, CUPE Health Care Coordinator. “Health care support staff have endured so much with so little support, and it’s clear that they are ready to strike if needed.”

Health care support staff have been putting their lives and their families’ lives at risk every day by showing up to work on the frontlines of the pandemic from day one, a fact which has not been recognized at the bargaining table.

“Right now, Manitoba has 18,000 health care support staff who are exhausted and who feel disrespected by the government, despite being lauded as heroes,” said Debbie Boissonneault, President of CUPE 204. “This is both an overwhelming mandate, and a scathing review of government’s inability to recognize health care workers.”

CUPE healthcare workers have been sending a strong message to the government with a Province wide average of 97% in favour of strike.

The results by region are as follows:

  • The WRHA and Shared Health represented by CUPE 204 and CUPE 500 voted 99% in favour of strike action.
  • NRHA represented by CUPE 8600 voted 98% in favour of strike action.
  • SH-SS represented by CUPE 4270 voted 92% in favour of strike action.

“Health care workers have been working harder than ever for the last year and a half because they are dedicated to providing the services required to ensure that Manitobans receive the highest quality health care possible,” says Darrin Cook, President of CUPE 4270.

“It’s time for the provincial government to show leadership and recognize the sacrifice that health care support workers have been making and immediately make settling health care contracts a priority,” said Christine Lussier, President of CUPE 8600.