Pallister’s support for health workers is hollow

WINNIPEG – Brian Pallister’s promise of 14 days of paid administrative leave for front-line health workers has given false hope to hundreds of health workers who have been in isolation due to COVID-19, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“When Brian Pallister announced 14 days of paid administrative leave for front line health care workers, it was expected that this was to ensure workers told to self-isolate by their employer would be covered,” said Shannon McAteer, CUPE Health Care Coordinator.

“It turns out his promise only covers very few health workers, and hundreds will be forced to exhaust their sick banks, leaving the health system vulnerable in the future.”

On April 14th, Premier Pallister and health officials promised a 14-day paid leave for health care workers who come in contact with COVID-19 to self-isolate. On April 24th the government informed staff that the coverage indeed only covers staff who the employer officially recognizes have come in direct contact with COVID-19 in the workplace.

It does not cover health workers turned away at the door when they are screened coming in to work.

“When you force health workers to use their sick bank to self-isolate, you are asking those workers to return to work with no sick time available going forward,” said McAteer.

“Sick banks in health care are there for a reason, and that’s to ensure if a health worker catches a cold, or gets ill, they aren’t choosing between a paycheque or staying home: they stay home.”

Home care workers have access to a maximum of four paid sick days at any time and many have less sick time available than that. This is unacceptable at the best of times and a dire circumstance during this historic pandemic.

CUPE calls on the provincial government to extend the 14-day paid administrative leave to cover all health care workers who are sent home by their employer to self isolate.

CUPE also calls on the provincial government to extend presumptive WCB coverage to all workers who are sent home due to COVID-19.
“During a health pandemic we need to make sure workers are protected,” said McAteer. “Pallister’s support for health workers is hollow.”

Q&A for CUPE health care locals: 14-day paid administrative leave & working single sites

CUPE has been working hard to get answers from health authorities. The following Q&A provides some answers to frequently asked questions from health care members. Keep in mind, this update is as of April 24, 2020.

Things change very quickly, and CUPE will continue trying to provide up-to-date information.

14-day Paid Administrative Leave

Q. How are staff to access/apply for the 14-days paid sick leave from the Province of Manitoba?
A. Managers and/or supervisors are supposed to review anyone who was off due to workplace exposure automatically. This applies for pick-up shifts and part-time and casual shifts that were scheduled during the period. However, it only applies while employees are asymptomatic. If employees become symptomatic, then the coverage ends and income shifts to sick time. If staff become symptomatic during quarantine, they should notify their manager and OESH.

Q. Does it apply for people who were quarantined due to travel or community exposure as well as at work?
A. No. It only covers possible exposure in the workplace.

Q. Does it apply to folks who are sent home during the onsite screening?
A. No, members will have to utilize sick leave, vacation or any banks that they have. If you do not have any of those, you may be eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) or Employment Insurance (EI). Information about these programs and how to apply can be found at: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

Q. Does it apply for community/primary care clinics?
A. Yes, if the exposure is at work.

Q. When the claim is retroactive, how will it work if someone has received EI and/or CERB for that time frame?
A. If you received CERB or EI for the quarantine/isolation period and then receive this paid administrative leave from the Employer – you must report to CERB/EI when you receive the money.

Q. In what cases should I report to Workers Compensation Board (WCB) and fill out incident reports?
A. When you have been exposed at work, you should fill in an incident report and make a claim with WCB as well.

Q. Does it apply for private personal care homes (PPCH)?
A. Yes, it applies to both public and private personal care homes. However, the private (Revera and Extendicare) do not fall under the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) so how it will be implemented may be different.


Working Single Sites

 

Q. Do I have to tell my Employers if I have another job?
A. Yes, during this pandemic you have to tell the Employer about additional jobs. You should not have to provide your social insurance number. Your Employer has that on record already.

Q. When will I have to start working at only one site?
A. The provincial government says that as of May 1, 2020, staff will have to work at only one site.

Q. What will happen to my EFT from the site I do not choose?
A. The Employer is saying they will try to make everyone whole. This means trying to provide you extra hours at the site at which you choose to work. If you have more than a full-time EFT between your sites, they are also trying to figure out how they will handle that. CUPE has stated members should not lose income during this process.


Q.
What will happen to my benefits and pension?
A. CUPE has stated that members’ benefits and pensions must be protected. The Employer has said that they will look into this.

Q. What will happen to my wage?
A. CUPE has stated that staff should all make the higher public sector wages, no matter where you choose to work during this time.


Q.
What will happen to my seniority and vacation/sick time accrual at the site I do not choose to work at?
A. CUPE has raised this as a concern. The Employer has not made a decision at this time.

Other Resources:

Federal Income Supports:
https://cupe.ca/income-supports-workers-during-coronavirus-pandemic
https://cupe.ca/canada-emergency-response-benefit-qa
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html

CUPE Seeking Alternatives to Pallister Public Sector Layoffs

Last week, with extremely short notice, CUPE was advised by the Pallister government about their desire to reduce the cost of so-called “non-essential” public sector workforce by 10-30 per cent. Unions and employers were initially informed about the plan through a provincial news release.

The workforce reduction will not apply to essential workers in areas like health care, child care, K-12 teaching and certain other public services and utilities – but it is alarming news from our government in the midst of the crisis of our generation. To do this, they are asking government departments and agencies to submit plans that cut workforce spending by 10%-30%.

The Manitoba Federation of Labour, CUPE, and our union friends in the Partnership to Defend Public Services attended a meeting on April 14th to discuss the request from government.

The government has presented two main options to avoid full layoffs of individual employees:

  1. Implement work-sharing agreements where “non-essential” staff would have their work week reduced to as few as two days per week and receive Employment Insurance for lost workdays. This work-sharing would have to be workplace-wide or possibly department-wide, unless positions are “essential”. The EI maximum of $54,000 per year would apply to income under this option.
  2. Expand employees’ ability to participate in a Voluntary Reduced Work Week. Under such a scenario, employees would be allowed to take up to 35 days of absence without pay. Approved VRWs may be treated as regular working days for pension, group life, and accumulated service calculations.

The work-sharing option is only possible if the federal government deems your employer eligible. Currently, the Federal Government has deemed Government Business Enterprises eligible (such as crown corporations and certain independent, revenue generating agencies) and Universities, but core government services such as the civil service and K-12education are not. The Federal Government would need to expand program eligibility further to include these last groups.

The government has so far been unable to say which public services they believe are non-essential. At the same time, the government has also made it clear that they will start making decisions on these matters very soon. The government has requested options for cost reductions by as early as Tuesday, April 21th. The provincial government has new powers under emergency legislation and could pass orders to require workforce reductions. CUPE is calling on the provincial government to respect our collective agreements.

CUPE Manitoba has serious concerns about these proposals, and some are worse than others. We are working towards the best solutions to the financial pressures of COVID-19, options that keep the public sector working. We want to keep doing our part to support health care and other public services that are so important and to work towards a collective social and economic recovery.

Across Manitoba, we are seeing the difference that public service workers are making in our communities. We know that quality public services are essential for all Manitobans – in normal times, and in these unprecedented and extremely challenging times, too.

The government’s job during a crisis is to demonstrate leadership, keep people safe, and make sure people can pay their bills and put food on the table. Cutting services and laying people off isn’t the answer. These measures reduce the government’s ability to respond and support people, and further shrinks the economy and the tax base.

We know this is creating more anxiety in your life during an already overwhelming time for all of us. We know that members have mortgages, rent, utilities and other bills to pay, and that a forced reduction in hours or days of work could create a personal crisis for you.

Please let us know how this might affect you – we would like to have stories and concerns and questions to share with management as we continue to look for answers. (We will keep your identity confidential.)

Protecting the jobs and livelihoods of our members and our communities is one of our top priorities, and we are working hard to avoid layoffs and mandatory workforce reductions across our provinces.

CUPE is here with you, and for you. Please contact your local CUPE executives if you have questions or concerns, and we’ll do everything we can to support you.

CUPE calls for immediate PPE and staffing strategy for Manitoba’s personal care homes: “things could get desperate”

Winnipeg – Manitoba’s largest union is calling for an immediate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and staffing strategy for long-term care facilities in Manitoba, including a commitment from health officials to ensuring consistent and adequate PPE for all staff in personal care homes.

“We are hearing from health care support workers in many long-term care homes, public and private,
that front-line staff are not receiving adequate PPE, and that available levels change daily,” said Shannon McAteer, CUPE Health Care Coordinator.

Health officials confirm that there are challenges with PPE shipments, and there is an effort to “conserve” PPE, but CUPE believes we cannot afford a single hole in the protection of staff and residents.

“We know that care homes have some of our most vulnerable citizens, and we need to ensure that caregivers have every tool possible to protect themselves and the residents because things could get desperate.”

According to Shared Health guidelines, only staff who have “direct contact” with residents are provided PPE, while other staff are not. This raises concerns from CUPE considering all staff are operating in close quarters in personal care homes, with highly vulnerable residents. For example, porters are not provided PPE despite their role in transporting residents.

“Staff desperately need consistent PPE,” said McAteer. “This is compounded by the fact that longterm care facilities in Manitoba have been working short staffed for years, with insufficient staff to resident ratios, and if one or two staff get ill or are told to self-quarantine, it will affect the entire facility.”

For years CUPE has been calling on governments and private care homes to increase staffing levels to ensure residents are receiving high quality care. In times of a pandemic, staffing shortages can result in major safety issues if staff are told to self-quarantine.

“We know that personal care homes across Canada are facing significant staffing challenges and the ability to provide PPE, but we believe there is no time for delays,” said McAteer.

“Other provinces are dealing with serious outbreaks at care homes, and significant challenges with the safety of staff and residents. We cannot make those same mistakes here.”

Manitoba Government responds to CUPE’s demand for 14 days paid leave, more information needed

Today the Manitoba government announced 14-days paid administrative leave for health care workers who are sent home due to possible contact with COVID-19 in the workplace. This announcement is retroactive to March 1st.

CUPE has been advocating for 14 paid sick days for all Manitoba workers who are told by their employers to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 19 CUPE Manitoba organized a petition to call for 14 days paid leave, which garnered over 1,200 emails being sent to the government.

“We are glad the government is listening to CUPE, and moving to provide paid leave for health care workers who are sent home due to possible contact with COVID-19. This will ensure these health care workers will not be forced to use their sick banks to self isolate,” said Shannon McAteer, CUPE’s Health Care Coordinator.

“We want the government to extend this paid leave to all workers who are sent home by their employers for the 14 day isolation period,” added McAteer.

Sick banks are intended to ensure workers can take time off if they get sick. When those sick banks are used for self isolation, it results in workers not having enough sick leave if they get ill after the pandemic.

The government’s plan to provide paid leave for health workers in self-isolation due to contact with COVID-19 in the workplace will ensure these health workers have enough sick days available when the pandemic is over.

It is unclear if this extends to front-line workers who are told by the employer to self-isolate due to flu/cold symptoms, but who haven’t knowingly come into direct contact with COVID-19 in the workplace.

CUPE calls on the government to extend the 14 days paid leave to all workers being asked by their employers to self-isolate, regardless of contact with COVID-19.

“Workers who are sent home by their employers should be covered”.

Manitoba health care support workers report facing racism during COVID-19

WINNIPEG – A new survey reveals many health care support workers on the frontlines of the
COVD-19 pandemic are experiencing anti-Asian racism.  It’s one of the findings of a Canadian Union of Public Employees membership survey of 1,877 CUPE health care workers.

One in five members responding to CUPE’s poll who self-identified as being of Asian heritage have personally experienced racism/bigotry in the workplace in the past month.  Comparatively, only one per cent of respondents who did not identify as being of Asian heritage reported experiencing racism at work in the same time period.

“Racism in the workplace and in the community is not acceptable – ever,” said Debbie Boissonneault, President of CUPE Local 204, representing health care support staff in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) and Shared Health.  “Our Union stands with all front-line health workers who are experiencing racism.  CUPE is calling on all Manitobans to confront racism in the workplace, at home, and in the community,” said Boissonneault.

Over the past several months, anti-Asian racism and xenophobia have spiked across North America in the context of the outbreak of COVID-19.  This spike is a pattern of refueled racism towards the Asian population, much like what transpired during the SARS pandemic.

CUPE Manitoba is amplifying health officials in making it perfectly clear that ethnicity, background, or country of origin have nothing to do with COVID-19, in fact it is often marginalized communities that bear the brunt of pandemics due to systemic or institutionalized discrimination and colonization.

“There are other curves we need to flatten besides COVID-19,” said Abe Araya, President of CUPE Manitoba. “Manitoba is not immune to racism.  But we can fight it together.”

CUPE is urging members facing any form of harassment, discrimination and or racism to contact their employer, and let CUPE know.  “CUPE does not tolerate racism or discrimination, and our Union is dedicated to supporting our members who are targeted by ignorance and hate,” said Araya.

The online survey was conducted between March 30th and April 5th.  CUPE invited members to participate through email and member-only CUPE Facebook pages.

Respondents are CUPE members, and work in the WRHA, Shared Health, Northern Regional Health Authority, and Southern Health-Santé Sud.  The survey also showed health care support workers are not getting enough training, personal protective equipment, or support from the government.

Members are encouraged to learn about how to intervene against racism.

April 3 Update: COVID-19 Q&A for Health Care Workers

CUPE members in health care have many questions. This Q&A will help answer many of the questions we’ve been hearing over the past week.

Q. Do I have to work still?

A. Yes, if you are healthy, able and have not been told to self-isolate/self-quarantine please report to work as normal. Unless the Employer informs you otherwise.

 

Q. Do I have to self-isolate or self-quarantine?

A. Please go to this link: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/index.html  You may also be advised to self-quarantine/isolate by OESH or through the screening process when entering work.  If you are asked to self-quarantine please send an email to cupe204.ca@gmail.com with your name, facility, department, classification and phone number

 

Q. What if I am deemed essential?

A. You will attend work as always and follow any protocols put in place by the Employer. Including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

 

Q. What if I am not deemed “essential”?

A. So far staff have been redeployed/reassigned within their sites. Please raise any child care/elder care issues if you are asked to work different hours and are unable to.  Let your union rep know if you are being reassigned.  No one has been laid off as yet.

 

Q. Does the Employer have to provide personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks?

A. Yes, the Employer must provide required PPE. A new protocol has come out for PPE for facilities where patients visit.  The protocol for Home Care has not been updated yet.  https://sharedhealthmb.ca/files/covid-19-universal-ppe-requirements.pdf   If this equipment is not available, please advise your CUPE rep.

 

Q. What if the client/patient has tested positive or is displaying symptoms?

A. Follow the universal precaution guidelines. Wear gloves and mask.  Wash your hands when you enter and leave their residence/room.  Do not touch the doorknobs or surfaces as much as possible.  Contact OESH as soon as possible.

 

Q. What if my co-worker may have been exposed?

A. Maintain social distancing as much as possible. Cleaning protocols should have been increased.  Follow the universal precaution guidelines.  Do not touch the doorknobs or surfaces as much as possible.  Contact OESH as soon as possible.  There have been circumstances recently where OESH or public health will contact you and inform you there has been an exposure.  Follow their direction.  If that occurs fill out a critical incident form (you can do this online now through your site) and file a WCB claim https://www.wcb.mb.ca/ . Let CUPE know asap if this happens to you.

 

Q. If I have to self-isolate or self-quarantine how will I get paid?

A. You can use sick time first. Then you can use your vacation, overtime (OT), STAT banks to cover your time away.  If you do not have any of those available, you can take an unpaid Leave of Absence (LOA) and apply for Employment Insurance (EI) or the CERB.  If you do take an unpaid LOA, you will need to prepay your benefits if you wish to continue coverage.  If you do go on an unpaid LOA, please contact HRSS about prepaying your benefits asap.  CUPE is working on having this time covered by the Employer directly and not come from your banks.

 

Q. What if I have to be away from work because of child care issues?

A. You can use your vacation, OT, STAT banks to cover your time away. If you do not have any of those available, you can take an unpaid LOA and apply for EI.  If you do take an unpaid LOA you will need to prepay your benefits if you wish to continue coverage.  CUPE is working on having this time covered by the Employer directly and not come from your banks.  If you are deemed essential and require child care there is a form to fill out from the Employer.

 

The federal government has announced assistance for employees who require income assistance.  Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks.  This flat-payment benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:  “Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.”

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

 

Q. Can I be mandated to work?

A. In this COVID-19 crisis, you can be mandated to work if staffing levels are affected because of
COVID-19. The Employer must take into account child care, elder care, etc.  They cannot mandate you to work if it is not COVID-19 related.

 

Q. Can I be transferred to other sites?

A. In this COVID-19 crisis you can be asked to voluntarily work at other sites. You would be covered by your current collective agreement, continue to accrue seniority at your site, be covered by benefits and Workers Compensation (WCB) and be reimbursed for parking, mileage and receive a meal allowance.  There is also some financial compensation if you are reassigned to another site.  If no one volunteers or staffing levels get dangerously low at a site, you can be assigned to work at another site.  See attached document:  “MOA_Redeploymnet_of_Staff_COVID-19”

 

Q. Do I have to chose which site I work at if I hold more than one position at different sites?

A. Other provinces have mandated that staff can only work at one site.  In Manitoba they have been asking staff if they work elsewhere.  We believe they will eventually impose working at only one site.  CUPE will fight to make sure your pay is not affected by this restriction. Please let CUPE know asap if you are informed you have to choose.

 

Q. What if Winnipeg Transit stops running?

A. If you use the bus to get to work and services are stopped, talk to your manager/supervisor about what to do.

 

OTHER RESOURCES

Federal Income Supports :  https://cupe.ca/cupe-backgrounder-federal-income-support-announcements

COVID-19 Q&A for Health Care Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic changes every day.
CUPE health care members are heroes, on the front-line protecting our community.
CUPE continues to fight for better protections for you. Your health, safety, compensation, and job security are our top priorities.

Here are some basic Q&As for CUPE health care workers.

*as of March 20, 2020


Q. Do I have to work still
A. Yes, if you are healthy, able and have not been told to self-isolate/self-quarantine please report to work as normal. Unless the Employer informs you otherwise.

Q. Do I have to self-isolate or self-quarantine?
A.
Please go to this link: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/index.html


Q. What if I am deemed essential?
A. You will attend work as always and follow any protocols put in place by the Employer. Including wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).

Q. What if I am not deemed “essential”?
A. We are waiting for the Employer to determine if they will be sending non-essential staff home and what that will look like. We are not clear on how the Employer is determining who is essential yet. Questions we do not have answered yet are:  Will you get paid?  Will you have to work from home?

Q. Does the Employer have to provide personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks?
A. Yes, the Employer must provide required PPE. CUPE has dealt with sites that have failed to do so.   If this equipment is not available, please advise your CUPE rep.

Q. What if the client/patient has tested positive or is displaying symptoms?
A. Follow the universal precaution guidelines. Wear gloves and mask.  Wash your hands when you enter and leave their residence/room.  Do not touch the doorknobs or surfaces as much as possible.

Q. What if my co-worker may have been exposed?
A.
Maintain social distancing as much as possible. Cleaning protocols should have been increased.  Follow the universal precaution guidelines.  Do not touch the doorknobs or surfaces as much as possible.

Q. If I have to self-isolate or self-quarantine how will I get paid?
A.
You can use sick time first. Then you can use your vacation, overtime (OT), STAT banks to cover your time away.  If you do not have any of those available, you can take an unpaid Leave of Absence (LOA) and apply for Employment Insurance (EI).  If you do take an unpaid LOA, you will need to prepay your benefits if you wish to continue coverage.  CUPE is working on having this time covered by the Employer directly and not come from your banks.

Q. What if I have to be away from work because of child care issues?
A.
You can use your vacation, OT, STAT banks to cover your time away. If you do not have any of those available, you can take an unpaid LOA and apply for EI.  If you do take an unpaid LOA you will need to prepay your benefits if you wish to continue coverage.  CUPE is working on having this time covered by the Employer directly and not come from your banks.  If you are deemed essential and require child care there is a form to fill out from the Employer.

The federal government has announced assistance for employees who require income assistance.  Introducing the Emergency Care Benefit providing up to $900 bi-weekly, for up to 15 weeks.  This flat-payment benefit would be administered through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provide income support to:  “Parents with children who require care or supervision due to school or daycare closures, and are unable to earn employment income, irrespective of whether they qualify for EI or not.”

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/canadas-covid-19-economic-response-plan-support-for-canadians-and-businesses.html

Q. Can I be mandated to work?
A.
In this COVID 19 crisis you can be mandated to work if staffing levels are affected because of
COVID-19. The Employer must take into account child care, elder care, etc.  They cannot mandate you to work if it is not COVID-19 related.

Q. Can I be transferred to other site?
A. In this COVID 19 crisis you can be asked to voluntarily work at other sites. You would be covered by your current collective agreement, continue to accrue seniority at your site, be covered by benefits and Workers Compensation (WCB) and be reimbursed for parking, mileage and receive a meal allowance.  There is also some financial compensation if you are reassigned to another site.  If no one volunteers or staffing levels get dangerously low at a site, you can be assigned to work at another site.
See document in link:  “MOA_Redeployment_of_Staff_COVID-19

Q. What if Winnipeg Transit stops running?
A.
If you use the bus to get to work and services are stopped, talk to your manager/supervisor about what to do.

OTHER RESOURCES

CUPE Backgrounder on Federal Income Supports:
https://cupe.ca/cupe-backgrounder-federal-income-support-announcements

 

SMc:cbc/cope 491
20-Mar-20
1:44 pm

CUPE 204’s March 13 recommendations to COVID-19 preparedness for Community Services and Home Care members

CUPE is committed to standing up for the health, safety, and workplace rights of our Community Services and Home Care members. We have received a lot of feedback from members concerning the WRHA’s response and preparedness for COVID-19.

Thank you to all members who have reached out with your suggestions and concerns.
Our union’s greatest strength is you, the membership.

On March 13, 2020, CUPE Local 204 made the following three recommendations to the employer in the interests of clients, staff, and public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Given the global COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity of “social distancing,” CUPE is writing on behalf of Resource Coordinators in WRHA Community Health Services to request that the DSS Task Efficiencies Review be indefinitely suspended in the interests of client, staff, and public safety. The DSS Task Efficiencies Review requires Resource Coordinators to shadow direct service staff throughout their shifts, entering each client’s home. Given the exceptional circumstances of this global pandemic, the Union requests these door-to-door assessment activities by Resource Coordinators be suspended until such time as it is safe for them to recommence.
  2. Given the global COVID-19 pandemic and the necessity of “social distancing,” CUPE is writing on behalf of direct service staff to request that, during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, they not be mandated to be “in house” (physically inside the access centres) during available hours when they do not have clients scheduled.

  3. CUPE would like to request that hand sanitizer and masks be made available for staff at all access centres. In addition, it has come to the Union’s attention that increasingly clients are denying direct service staff access to washroom facilities including towels and paper towels because of concern about toilet paper and towel shortages.  Consequently, CUPE requests that the WRHA send out a reminder to all home care clients that they are obligated to provide washroom facilities including toilet paper, soap, and a clean towel or paper towel to direct service staff. These circumstances are only expected to escalate without attention.

These requests were sent to the WRHA on March 13, 2020.

We will update members on the responses we receive. We want to remind all members that the COVID-19 situation is changing every day, and CUPE 204 will ensure we continue to represent our members, and our members’ concerns to the employer.

It is important to report lack of equipment or any other concerns you have to your supervisor immediately.

Please contact CUPE 204 if you have any questions or concerns.

CUPE welcomes new members

CUPE welcomes new members in the WRHA, Shared Health, Southern Health, and the North

All health care workers are now members of their new union.

CUPE is pleased to welcome new and returning members to CUPE: in Southern Health-Santé Sud, the Northern Regional Health Authority, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Shared Health.

CUPE now represents all Community and Facility Support workers in these health authorities.

We want to thank all unions involved in this process and are pleased to say all unions have been working together to ensure a smooth transition of new members.

The Commissioner responsible for implementing The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act  has issued interim bargaining certificates, effective as of December 8th (rural RHAs) and December 13th (WRHA and Shared Health), certifying CUPE as your union. He will eventually issue permanent certificates, and the interim ones are valid until that time.

With 36,000 members in Manitoba and 700,000 across the country, CUPE is now the largest union in Manitoba and Canada. We want to live up to the trust you have placed in CUPE.

Please watch for local stewards and representatives in your workplace in the new year, for more health care news, and for information about the bargaining process.

CUPE is also working hard to get to the bargaining table.  We want to negotiate a new collective agreement for you.

What happens now?

CUPE now represents you if you are a Facility Support or Community Support worker employed in these health authorities:

– Northern Regional Health Authority
– Southern Health–Santé Sud
– Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (including Churchill)
– Shared Health

  • CUPE now represents you for any existing grievances or processes, even if they were filed by another union.
  • You will now pay dues to CUPE.
  • Your old contract remains your contract until bargaining concludes (even after you join CUPE).
  • Once a new CUPE agreement is bargained and ratified by the members, this new agreement will cover you.

How can I find out more about CUPE?

Visit:                www.cupe.ca, and cupe.mb.ca

Facebook:       @CUPE SCFP, and @CUPE Manitoba
Twitter:          
@CUPENat, and @CUPEMB

Note to new CUPE members:
CUPE’s structure may be different from other unions.

Here are the basics:

CUPE is a member-driven union, where members are involved directly in decision-making. We believe you know what’s best for your workplace. That’s why your CUPE local is so important.

Shop Stewards, site Vice-Presidents, and your Executive are elected by you, the members, and can be contacted to help with your day-to day needs.

Shop Stewards, along with Union Support Officers, and professional National Servicing Representatives are there to help you when you need union representation at work.

National Servicing Representatives and Specialists (like Legal, Research, Human Rights, Union Development, Safety and Health, Pensions, and Communications) are all available to your CUPE local to help take on arbitrations, human rights issues, and fights against privatization and contracting out.

CUPE National and CUPE Manitoba are also here to support you, and your unique workplace needs.

CUPE’s education department provides training to local Shop Stewards and activists to make sure you have representatives right in your workplace who are equipped with the knowledge and experience to seek information and speak up in meetings with management.

If you were an activist, Shop Steward, or Executive Member in your previous union, please don’t hesitate to contact us about getting involved with CUPE.

When can bargaining begin?

A bargaining unit certificate is the legal document that explains which union represents each group of workers. Now that we have bargaining unit certificates, we can start the bargaining process.

CUPE’s contracts are the best in health care! CUPE ensures that every member can make suggestions on how to improve their collective agreement.

To prepare for bargaining:

  • CUPE is working on Essential Services Agreements. These agreements tell us how many staff must work in each facility in the event of job action like a strike or lock out. By law, we cannot bargain until Essential Services Agreements are done.
  • Your CUPE bargaining committee will do a bargaining survey electronically and will also distribute paper copies to members who request this.
  • The bargaining committee will compile the results of the surveys and prepare the proposal package.

Then bargaining can begin, using the designated receiving agreement as a base.

What can I do?

  • 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.
  • Do not hesitate to contact CUPE if you have any questions or concerns.

Contact your CUPE Local:

– WRHA & Shared Health: CUPE 204
– President Debbie Boissonneault at 204-775-2873, cupe204.ca@gmail.com, www.cupe204.ca, or Facebook @cupe204

– Southern Health-Santé Sud: CUPE 4270
– President Darrin Cook at drcook@xplornet.com

– Northern Regional Health Authority: CUPE 8600
– President Christine Lussier at cblussier@outlook.com

Shannon McAteer, CUPE Health Care Coordinator, may be reached at:

Phone:       204-942-0343
Email:        healthcare@cupe.ca