Health Care Workers at Ten Ten Sinclair Set Strike Date

WINNIPEG – Approximately 160 health care workers at Ten Ten Sinclair Inc. have set a strike date of March 6, 2024, calling on the independent living organization to offer front-line staff fair wages.

“Health care support staff at Ten Ten Sinclair have been working tirelessly to support our community, but are being treated like they don’t matter,” said Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba. “These workers provide front-line health care to persons living with disabilities, with mental health challenges, and others in our community who need the support, and they deserve to be treated fairly”.

Staff at Ten Ten Sinclair were subject to the previous government’s wage freeze, and with the rising cost of living these workers are being left far behind other health care workers.

“All the staff at Ten Ten Sinclair want is to be recognized for the work they do every day, including throughout the pandemic,” said McKay. “No health care worker should be left behind”.

CUPE Locals 4376 and 2348 are preparing for strike action and are planning information pickets outside the main facility at 1010 Sinclair Ave in the coming weeks.

“We don’t want a strike to happen, but at the end of the day these CUPE members are standing up for what’s right: fairness for health care support workers,” said McKay. “It’s time to care for the workers who provide care, and we are calling on Ten Ten Sinclair and the government to support these critical front-line health workers”.

Ten Ten Sinclair Inc. is a non-profit organization that receives funding from the WRHA.

CUPE Manitoba welcomes new federal-provincial health commitments

Winnipeg, Treaty 1 ¬¬– The union that represents 18,000 health care support workers in the WRHA, Shared Health, Northern Regional Health Authority, and Southern Health-Santé Sud is welcoming the new federal funding commitments for health care.

“Health care support workers are the pillars of the health care system, but are often left without much support,” said Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba. “Funding that focuses on recruitment and retention for health care support workers and others in health care is critical to ensuring quality health services and staff who feel supported”.

The announcement included the Working Together agreement of $434 million over three years that includes adding more support staff, doctors, and nurses, and specifically mentions the importance of recruitment and retention of health care workers.

“18,000 health care support workers represented by CUPE in Manitoba are about to enter negotiations to ask for fair wages and stronger supports in the workplace,” said McKay. “The previous government in Manitoba did little to support health care workers, and even tried imposing a wage freeze on them, so we are relieved that the federal government and new NDP provincial governments recognize the importance of recruiting and retaining health care workers”.

CUPE Manitoba also applauds the new Aging with Dignity agreement of $199 million in funding over five years to expand home, community health, and long-term care, as well as dementia programming.

“Supporting public home care and public long-term care is critical to ensuring our seniors, older persons, and elders can live with dignity, and hiring 100 new public home care workers is welcome,” said McKay. “There has been a growing number of for-profit home care agencies and long-term care facilities in Manitoba, and we are pleased to hear Premier Kinew commit to funding universal public health care, and supporting the staff who work tirelessly for our community”.

CUPE Manitoba looks forward to working with the provincial government as a key stakeholder in the rollout of the new funding for health care.

Learn more about the announcement here.

CUPE MB Condemns Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s Attack on Trans and Gender-Diverse Youth

CUPE Manitoba joins CUPE National in strongly condemning the recent measures introduced by Premier Smith of Alberta regarding gender policies for children and youth.

CUPE Manitoba Executive Board representative for 2SLGBTQIA+ members Daniel Richards says, “This is a direct attack on the 2SLGBTQIA+ and trans and gender-diverse community rooted in hate, bigotry, division, and distraction.”

“These oppressive measures clearly contradict expert guidance and evidence. The policy is a direct violation of the constitutional rights of Alberta youth. These policies will lead to serious personal suffering and damage for affected young people,” says Richards.

CUPE National’s statement notes, “These policies will rob teenagers in Alberta of information they need to make choices about their health, and the freedom to be their authentic selves at school.”

“Premier Smith must understand that she does not get to pick and choose what human rights to respect and what rights to and trample on,” says Richards.

CUPE Manitoba President Gina Mckay says “Canada’s labour movement will always stand united with marginalized people under attack, and this is no exception. Premier Smith must stop playing politics with the marginalized youth of Alberta and do the right thing and rescind these extreme measures.”

In Winnipeg today, February 05, there is a Rally for Trans Youth at the Legislative Building at 6:20 PM in protest of Alberta’s reactionary and bigoted policy plans. CUPE Manitoba encourages attendance at this event.

For more background and information, see CUPE’s Frequently Asked Questions sheet:
“RESIST ATTACKS THAT DIVIDE US: CUPE stands with trans people”

Manitoba Child Care Workers Call for Action

WINNIPEG – Child care workers across Canada, including Manitoba, are joining the National Day for Early Learning and Child Care Day of Action on November 30.

“Parents, caregivers, and families across Manitoba continue to struggle with affordable, accessible child care in their communities,” said Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba. “We are calling on all governments to address the nationwide child care crisis.”

The Manitoba government has done little in the past ten years to address child care recruitment and retention challenges in a significant way, despite the Federal government’s child care initiative that reduced fees on licensed child care for children under the age of six.

“Low-cost child care is important for so many families, but the reality is there are simply not enough child care spaces to meet the demand,” said Brittany Aube, President of CUPE 3060 representing workers at Brandon University Early Learning Centre Inc., Fuzzy Bears Inc., and Children’s Den Inc., in Brandon, Manitoba. “There are huge challenges accessing child care in Manitoba, especially in rural and Northern communities, and wages for child care workers are not keeping up.”

The new NDP government in Manitoba committed to “work with the child care sector to retain and recruit early childhood educators, create new, high-quality child care spaces” during the November 21 Speech from the Throne, a message CUPE Manitoba hopes will yield improvements.

“We hope the Manitoba government will be a nationwide leader in developing a strong, accessible child care system,” said Peggy Robichaud, who sits on CUPE’s National Child Care Working Group and represents child care workers with CUPE 2348. “There is some optimism among Manitoba’s child care sector that the new government will prioritize public and not-for-profit child care in the province, and front-line child care workers are eager to be partners to help make that happen.”

You can help take action on child care by joining the Child Care Now Day of Action open letter calling for the Federal government to fund new child care spaces and improvements to child care worker wages.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than 740,000 members.  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.

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For information, contact:  David Jacks, CUPE Communications at 204-801-7339

Manitoba Throne Speech offers new hope to Manitoba’s public sector workers

The NDP government’s first Throne Speech signals a new relationship between government and workers, says CUPE Manitoba.

“The new government has committed to fixing our public services and forging a stronger relationship with workers after years of neglect under the PCs,” said Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba. “This Throne Speech is the first time we’ve felt hopeful in a long time.”

The Throne Speech recommits to many of the promises laid out by the NDP during the recent election campaign, notably investments in health care and support for health care workers.

“Between the cuts and closures in health care under the PCs and the previous government’s mismanagement of the COVID pandemic, health care workers in Manitoba have had an incredibly rough number of years,” said McKay.

“We are feeling optimistic that this government is committed to listening to frontline workers and brining in much-needed improvements like expanding home care and increasing hours of care in long-term care.”

CUPE Manitoba is hopeful that the new government will make good on its commitment to improve K-12 education and reduce class sizes.

“Workers in schools have also been struggling with understaffing and lack of support,” said McKay. “We look forward to meeting with the new government to discuss their plans to improve education and encourage them to scrap the PC government’s dangerous plans to introduce Public-Private Partnerships to our schools.”

Workers in Manitoba’s energy sector are also relieved that the new government will keep Manitoba Hydro public and is looking to enhance and support our crown corporations.

“Manitobans finally have a blueprint that doesn’t have cracks and holes,” said McKay. “We look forward to working with this new government to build a better province for everyone.”

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than 740,000 members. In Manitoba, CUPE represents approximately 37,000 members working in health care facilities, personal care homes, home care, school divisions, municipal services, social services, childcare centres, public utilities, libraries, and family emergency services.

CUPE Manitoba applauds NDP government’s commitments to workers

October 27 — Today Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew released mandate letters to four Cabinet Ministers, outlining the expectations of the government to deal with health care, families, the environment, and labour & immigration.

“Manitoba’s workers are feeling hopeful with Premier Kinew’s vision for government,” said Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba. “It has been too long since the government has taken the concerns of front-line worker seriously, and we are encouraged that this government has prioritized areas that will improve the lives of all Manitobans.”

CUPE Manitoba is pleased to see that Minister of Health, Seniors, and Long-Term Care, Uzoma Asagwara, is tasked to address the critical staffing shortages across health care and will prioritize increasing staffing ratios in long-term care across the province, something CUPE Manitoba has called for over many years.

CUPE Manitoba also applauds the mandate for Minister of Families, Nahanni Fontaine, to increase wages for the disability support workers, as well as Minister of Labour and Immigration Malaya Marcelino, who has the task to make joining a union easier for workers across the province.

“This government is sending a clear message to Manitoba’s workers that ‘help is on the way’,” said McKay. “CUPE Manitoba is ready to offer our front-line expertise to help this government achieve their goals in making our province better for everyone.”

Health Care Support Workers’ Week: October 16 – 20, 2023

CUPE is celebrating the work of its thousands of members in health care support roles across Manitoba. The Manitoba Government officially proclaimed October 16 – 20 as Health Care Support Workers’ Week. 

Health care support workers keep our health care system working, and are a critical part of the health care team,” stated Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba. “This week is a special week to recognize each and every health care support worker in every community across Manitoba”.

This week also falls on the official swearing-in week of Manitoba’s newly elected provincial government. CUPE Manitoba is hopeful that this new government will address the chronic issues facing Manitoba’s health care support workers, including the ongoing staffing crisis that impacts long term care, acute care, and home care.

“The past seven years under Brian Pallister and Heather Stefanson have been difficult for health care support workers,” said McKay. “Health care workers are looking forward to a government that listens and takes the concerns of workers across Manitoba seriously”.

LISTEN to our radio ad, airing across Manitoba:

READ the Proclamation (English) Proclamation (French)
Letter from government to CUPE: Letter from Honourable Audrey Gordon, (former) Minister of Health

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than 715,000 members. In Manitoba, CUPE represents approximately 37,000 members working in health carefacilities, personal care homes, school divisions, municipal services, social services, child care centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services.

CUPE Manitoba condemns Sask Premier’s use of Notwithstanding Clause to override Human Rights of students

CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay is joining labour leaders from across Canada today outside the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina to condemn Premier Scott Moe’s attempt to override the human rights of students by using the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

On September 29, an injunction was granted temporarily blocking legislation in Saskatchewan that would require teachers to disclose to parents if students were using different pronouns. In response, Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe announced that he would be reopening the legislature on October 10 to pass the homophobic legislation through use of the notwithstanding clause of the Charter.

“Premier Moe is attempting to trample the Charter rights of children for partisan reasons that are based in ignorance and homophobia,” said McKay. “This has nothing to do with ‘protecting children’; in reality, it’s about targeting vulnerable people and making them less safe.”

“In Ontario, we saw the Conservative Ford government threaten use of the notwithstanding clause against striking education support workers. And now we have Premier Moe using it to try to override the rights of Queer, Trans, Non-Binary, and Two Spirit students” said McKay.

According to Daniel Richards, CUPE Manitoba’s 2SLGBTQI+ Diversity VP, “Premier Moe must understand that he does not get to pick and choose what human rights to respect and what to override and trample. Human Rights are not optional, they are universal and inalienable, and Canada’s labour movement will always stand united with marginalized people under attack, and this is no exception.”

“Regardless of what province or territory, conservative leaders like Moe must understand that the rights of Trans people are not up for debate,” said McKay. “Good people will never sit idly by while the rights of vulnerable people are under attack.”

At the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Convention in May, delegates unanimously passed an emergency resolution calling on Unions to condemn hate across Canada. CUPE Manitoba has signed on to the action team to defend the rights of 2SLGBTQI+ workers and communities and will actively condemn the rising hate in all communities where CUPE members work and live.

To learn more about the ways that Unions and communities are working to condemn hate, click on the following links below:

Both Gina McKay and Daniel Richards are taking on active roles in Manitoba, alongside numerous 2SLGBTQI+ activists from CUPE and the labour movement, and encourage Union members to join the movement.

To learn more about the ways that you can show your support for 2SLGBTQI+ rights, visit: https://canadianlabour.ca/campaigns/pride-action-team/

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For Information, contact Andrew Loewen, CUPE Manitoba: 204.259.0323 / aloewen@cupe.ca

CUPE Manitoba Recognizes National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

September 30th is the National Day for Truth & Reconciliation. CUPE Manitoba is committed to support reconciliation and justice for all Indigenous Peoples. It is also the tenth Orange Shirt Day, a chance to honour the memories of the Indigenous children whose lives were lost in the residential school system, and recognize the strength of the survivors and their families.

CUPE Manitoba is committed to decolonizing through leadership. Today, our members are honoured to join people throughout this province and our country on this day of reflection and learning. And we are committed to working year-round in pursuit of meaningful, lasting reconciliation.

Action is needed to honour the children who didn’t make it home. Click below to learn how to build meaningful ReconciliACTION into your Local:

https://cupe.ca/event/national-day-truth-and-reconciliation

#OrangeShirtDay #EveryChildMatters #NationalTRCDay

If you are a residential school survivor or family member and require emotional support, there is a 24-hour Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

Statement from CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay on Premier Stefanson’s Truth and Reconciliation week political ad campaign

Image of Progressive Consevative "Stand Firm" election billboard

Photo Credit: Alex Karpa, Winnipeg City News

Statement:

Any leader who chooses to launch ad campaigns to ‘stand firm’ against finding the remains of missing and murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit Persons during Truth and Reconciliation Week is not worthy of being elected to the highest office in the province.

As a proud Métis, I’d like to remind Premier Stefanson that Manitoba was founded by Métis leader Louis Riel. The contrast between his legacy and her choices this week make it clear, she is unfit to be the leader of this province. She’s not qualified to represent the First Nations, Inuit, Métis, and Indigenous people of Manitoba who deserve respect, justice, and a commitment to all calls to action for Truth and Reconciliation and to find Manitoba’s MMIWG2S.

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For information, contact: Katherine Norton, CUPE Communications at 306-510-6706