Health Care Bargaining Update, April 21, 2022

CUPE met with the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) on April 20, 2022 and have confirmed Mr. Arne Peltz as the mediator.

The first dates available to meet with Mr. Peltz to begin the process are May 24-27, 2022.  The next available mediation dates will be in mid-June.  More dates will be booked as they become available.


Until mediation begins, CUPE and the PHRLS will continue to meet to finalize negotiation of the letters of understanding and any changes to the pension and benefits articles.  This will include discussions about including anyone not currently in the HEB Manitoba pension and benefits plan, being brought into HEB Manitoba.  Riverview Health Centre will remain with the City of Winnipeg plans.


Why are we going to mediation?

Mediation is a common part of the negotiating process.  The Manitoba Nurses’ Union (MNU) was able to finalize their collective agreement through mediation also using Mr. Peltz as the mediator.  We are going to mediation because CUPE and the Employer are very far apart on certain proposals.  The Bargaining Council has heard the membership and are committed to getting the best collective agreement possible.  We believe that with the assistance of Mr. Peltz that we will be able to achieve a collective agreement that leaves no health care worker behind.


The outstanding language is about vacation (single days vs. blocks), union representation at meetings, how STATs will be taken, how overtime and pick up shifts will be awarded (seniority vs. equitable), and bumping.


Will I still get to vote on the proposed new collective agreement?

Yes.  Any agreement reached through mediation will still be voted on by the members.  Everything that has been agreed-to prior to mediation will not be a part of the mediation process.


What happens if we don’t get a collective agreement through mediation?

If we are unable to get a collective agreement through mediation and our continued negotiations, CUPE could officially serve notice to strike.  We must provide seven (7) days notice to go on strike.  If this should happen, we will notify the members when the decision is made to serve notice.


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.

Manitoba Budget Continues to Fall Short

WINNIPEG – The 2022 Manitoba budget continues to put public services at risk, says CUPE Manitoba.

“Manitobans expect to see a budget that protects the public services they rely on,” says
Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba.  “This government continues to cut taxes for ideological reasons rather than fully supporting our schools and health care facilities.”

CUPE is concerned that the government’s plan to reach a balanced budget by 2028 will come on the backs of Manitoba workers and public services families rely on.

“The government spent years cutting health care and eliminating full-time jobs, and now they pat themselves on the backs for this year’s budget,” added McKay.  “Manitobans won’t forget how this government decimated our health care system.”

“We are also deeply concerned that the government will look to privatizing, contracting out, and selling off public services in order to balance their budget,” says McKay.

“We are pleased that the government is providing wage support for community living workers,” says McKay. CUPE joined with MGEU and UFCW in a public campaign to call on the government to increase support for these critical workers.

“We need a government that takes bold steps to support public services, especially during a pandemic that is not yet over,” says McKay.  “This budget doesn’t do that.”

CUPE will continue to analyze the budget.


Health Care Bargaining Update, March 3, 2022

CUPE met with the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) on February 9, 16, 23 and March 2, 2022.  We have bargaining dates on March 16, 23, 30, and April 6, 13, 20, and 27, 2022.  We continue to see positive movement at the bargaining table, thanks to the efforts and support from members.


Public Health Restrictions 

The provincial government has stated that health care workers will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or undergo frequent testing for COVID-19 starting March 1, 2022.  We do not know yet what this will mean for anyone who is on an unpaid leave of absence because or refusing to get tested.



CUPE has launched a petition to the provincial government, calling on them to prioritize bargaining for health care support workers and provide support to front-line staff.  CUPE members and their families and friends have submitted over 4,000 petitions.  That is over 4,000 emails in the inboxes of government.  The petition is to add pressure to the government to prioritize health care support workers.  We have been successful in flooding their emails and ensuring that health care support workers are not forgotten.  You can sign the petition here:

The pressure applied by the petition and the awareness campaign has worked!  We have begun monetary discussions.  Normally monetary discussions do not happen until all the language is negotiated.  We still have language proposals on the table including vacation, overtime, casual seniority, job reclassification, training and education, STAT pay, and rules for part-time employees.  Approximately 60% of the language proposals have been agreed to.



The health care support staff awareness campaign has begun.  The radio ads and social media ads have started.  TV commercials, billboards, bus shelter ads, and yard signs are coming.  Please share the social media ads and fill out the petition.  It is just a few clicks!


Wear Black Wednesdays

Bargaining happens every Wednesday.  We are asking members, who are able, to wear black clothing on Wednesdaysto show support for the Bargaining Council.  Black is the colour of strength!  Black is also one of the colours of mourning.  We are mourning the lack of a contract.  If you cannot wear black clothing, wear wristbands or a black lanyard or something black.  We started “Wear Black Wednesdays” on March 2, 2022.


Retroactive Pay

Retroactive pay for the General Wage Increases (GWI) must be negotiated.  Retroactive pay has always been part of health care bargaining and we expect it to be included this time.  The collective agreement states that retroactive pay will be paid by a separate cheque within 120 days of ratification.  If you retire or quit before the collective agreement is ratified, you must ask the Employer to receive any retroactive pay owing to you.  You need to include your current address in this request to ensure you receive the cheque.  This must be done in writing (an email will do) within 90 days of ratification of the new collective agreement.  You can submit this request as soon as you retire or quit as well.  Please copy your union representative when you do submit the request.  If you do not submit the request within 90 days, you will NOT receive the retroactive pay.


Some of the former union collective agreements expired in different years.  Anyone that received a general wage increase in 2017, 2018, or 2019 already (even if it was zeros) will have their retroactive pay adjusted so that it matches the GWIs for everyone else.


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.

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.


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

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.



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

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.


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

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.

18,000 health care support workers across Manitoba are gearing up for a strike vote

Health care support staff in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Shared Health, Southern Health-Santé Sud, and Northern Regional Health Authority are preparing for a strike vote.

“Health care support staff have been fighting on the front lines to keep our communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also enduring the Pallister government’s drawn-out attacks on health care,” says Lee McLeod, CUPE Regional Director. “Support staff are the pillars of health care, but are being treated as if they don’t matte­r—and that is unacceptable.”

Health care support staff have not had a new contract since 2017 when the government first tabled unconstitutional wage freeze legislation. 

Furthermore, the provincial government introduced legislation that amalgamated health care contracts – forcing dozens of contracts to be merged, pushing negotiations into 2021. Additionally, the provincial government forced cuts across health care since first being elected, resulting in a staffing and morale crisis. 

“Health care support staff are under so much pressure, and the government has shown very little respect for the work they do. After years without a contract, health care support staff want to see real support from the government, and that includes a fair contract for all staff,” said McLeod. “We are fighting to make sure no health care worker is left behind.”

CUPE is currently holding information sessions, as well as meet and greets with health care support staff to discuss the status of bargaining. The strike vote is expected to be held online and in-person, depending on the region, on August 18, 2021. No strike date has been set yet.

CUPE health care members please contact your local union to update your contact information as soon as possible.

CUPE 204, members register here.
CUPE 4270
, information here or contact
CUPE 8600
, members contact or call/text 204 680-6072
CUPE 500, contact or click here.

CUPE represents 18,000 health care support staff across Manitoba in both Community Support and Facility Support roles in the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Shared Health, Southern Health Santé-Sud, and Northern Regional Health Authority.

CUPE health care bargaining update #7, June 10, 2021

Bargaining update for CUPE health care members.

Strike/job action

The CUPE Bargaining Council may call on the members for a strike mandate (vote) to support their efforts at the bargaining table.  Normally, unions do not call for a strike vote until there is a significant break down in the negotiations.  We are not at that point quite yet but CUPE has begun preparations in case we need to call for a strike vote.

A strike committee has met and are preparing for the potential of a province-wide strike.  We are not calling for a strike vote yet but the planning required for 18,000 members to go on strike is huge and that is why we must start preparing now.

Why are we not striking like the nurses?

The Manitoba Nurses’ Union (MNU) has taken a strike vote.  The nurses did not have as many collective agreements or classifications to merge into one collective agreement as CUPE, therefore they are further along in the process.  They also started bargaining four months before we did.

CUPE has over 123 collective agreements all with very different contract language.  CUPE wants to protect as much language as possible from all the collective agreements, so this requires a longer process at the bargaining table.  CUPE members have told us that protecting this language is important.

MNU has also stated they will be doing different types of strike/job action rather than stopping working.  Unions will not be able to stop providing essential care in a strike especially with the COVID crisis.

CUPE supports MNU and will stand in solidarity with them throughout any strike or job action.

What is binding arbitration?

Currently The Labour Relations Act allows for unions to apply for binding arbitration after sixty (60) days on strike. Binding arbitration is where an arbitrator (sort of judge) decides what will be in a collective agreement.  Usually, binding arbitration is only used when there are a few outstanding items, most often wages, that the parties cannot come to agreement on.  Once the binding arbitration process has started, whatever the arbitrator decides is what the union gets.  There is no voting on a collective agreement.

How does Essential Services affect a strike?

Before any health care union can go on strike an Essential Services Agreement (ESA) must be negotiated.  This is law.

CUPE is negotiating updated ESAs with the Employers.  The Bargaining Council may be calling on members for information regarding staffing levels and required duties for each classification at your site.   The Essential Services Act(Health Care) of Manitoba requires the unions to provide essential care so as not to affect the “life and limb” of clients/patients/residents.

We thank all CUPE members for their feedback and concerns.  We are doing everything we can to protect and improve your collective agreement and fight for fair wage increases.