Throne Speech Response, CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay

CUPE Manitoba President Gina McKay offers the following response to today’s Manitoba Throne Speech:

Today’s Throne Speech was a disappointment. Not only did the government fail to introduce the concrete measures that are needed to improve health care, they are making things worse by prioritizing the privatization of Manitoba’s public services. 

The government wants to convince Manitobans that by expanding private delivery of diagnostic testing and surgeries that they can speed up wait times, but this simply isn’t true. There isn’t an untapped source of health care professionals waiting to operate these private clinics. If there was, they would be hired already. Any capacity added by private clinics will come at the expense of public operations.

There was absolutely nothing in today’s throne speech about investments’ in our public education system. After years of struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, students and education workers were looking for real commitments to improve our schools. But the message from Premier Stefanson was clear – students, teachers, and education workers are on their own.

There was discussion of new jobs, but a focus on private business investments and private sector opportunities was at the core of each announcement. We need the Manitoba government to commit to, and invest in, public service workers in all public sector work – including those noted today in the Throne Speech: libraries, schools, health care, child care, and social services.

It is crucial for the Manitoba government to ensure services are publicly funded, and not through private sector contributions that have returns on their investments. There should never be corporate monetary returns on public service work. 

This was a concerning Throne Speech from a tired government that’s run out of ideas and is gearing up to line the pockets of private investors. If anything, the pandemic should have taught us the value of our public services. But this government has a neoliberal agenda that looks for profits before quality health care, education, and public services. 

Manitoba’s public services are not for sale, and CUPE members in our province work for Manitoba. The 2023 election cannot come soon enough.

Health Care Support Workers’ Recognition Day: October 18, 2022

CUPE is celebrating the work of its thousands of members in health care support roles across Manitoba. The Manitoba Government officially proclaimed October 18 as Health Care Support Workers’ Day.

“Health care support workers are the pillars of our health care system,” stated Gina McKay, President of CUPE Manitoba. “They keep our health care system running, despite the government’s inability to provide adequate support to frontline health care workers, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic”.

“Despite working short-staffed, health care support workers in Manitoba have been doing everything possible to care for the community”, said Debbie Boissonneault, President of CUPE 204, representing facility and community support workers in the WRHA and Shared Health. “We call on the government to recognize our work by providing enough resources for us to do it effectively, and while we recently achieved a new agreement, we know more needs to be done”.

“Health care support workers are often unrecognized in their day-to-day work ,” said Holly Chaperon, President of CUPE 4270, representing facility and community support workers in Southern Health – Sante Sud. “We know who the Doctors and Nurses are, and how important their roles are in our lives. But, do you know who the support workers are? Support staff work tirelessly every single day, and deserve to be acknowledged.” 

“From Nunavut to the US border, Manitoba’s health care support workers deserve recognition and respect,” said Christine Lussier, President of CUPE 8600, representing facility and community support workers in the Northern Regional Health Authority. “It has been a difficult time for staff, especially in the North where we are working incredibly short-staffed every single day, but health care support workers in the NRHA continue to keep our community healthy”.

“Health care support workers who work in private personal care homes are working tirelessly to provide support to residents,” said Daniel Richards, Chair of the CUPE Manitoba Private Personal Care Home Committee. “These workers are also working short-staffed, and continue to call on the government to legislate mandatory minimum staffing requirements in care homes”.

Read the full declaration (English)

Read the full declaration (French)

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than 643,000 members. In Manitoba, CUPE represents approximately 37,000 members working in health care facilities, personal care homes, school divisions, municipal services, social services, child care centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services. CUPE Health care locals include CUPE 204, CUPE 500, CUPE 4270, and CUPE 8600.

Health Care Update re: Retro Pay (former employees)

Former employees are entitled to receive any applicable retroactive pay provided they request the retroactive pay from their former Employer in writing no later than ninety (90) days after the ratification date, September 23, 2022.

As part of the written request submitted the employee MUST include the following:

  • Email Subject line must state “Retro Request for (employee name) terminated employee(CUPE)”
  • Date of retirement/resignation
  • Name of the Employer that the employee is requesting retro payment from
  • Employee’s current mailing address
  • Direct deposit information, if it has changed since you were last employed

Employer Organization Contact

Northern
All sites – email Payroll – payroll@nrha.ca

Southern Health
All sites – email Payroll at Payrollsupport@southernhealth.ca

Shared Health
All sites on SAP – email RetroRequest@wrha.mb.ca

CancerCare Manitoba – email ccmbpayroll@cancercare.mb.ca

Rehabilitation Centre for Children – email kizzyp@rccinc.ca

Eden Mental Health Centre – email jfehr3@edenhealth.mb.ca

Winnipeg/Churchill     
All sites on SAP – email RetroRequest@wrha.mb.ca

CUPE Health Care Support Staff Ratify Seven-Year Deal

Update for CUPE health care support members

CUPE Health Care Support Staff from CUPE 204/Shared Health and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA), CUPE 500/WRHA – Riverview Health Centre and WRHA Corporate, CUPE 4270/ Southern Health-Santé Sud (SH-SS) and CUPE 8600/Northern Regional Health Authority (NRHA) have voted to accept the new collective agreement.

The ratification date is September 23, 2022.  The collective agreement will expire on March 31, 2024.

The new agreement includes wage increases in each year of the agreement including retroactive pay, a signing bonus for all members, an increase in shift premiums, improvements for the Community Programs/Home Care groups, a more flexible “single-day” vacation system for all members, double overtime and market adjustments.

“This was an incredibly difficult round of negotiations due to government interference, attempted wage freeze, disruptive restructuring, forced union amalgamations, and the pandemic” said Shannon McAteer, CUPE Health Care Coordinator.  “Despite these challenges, this new agreement sets a solid foundation for the next round of negotiations.”

The employer has 120 days within which to issue retroactive pay and the signing bonus. It will be issued on a separate pay deposit.  Former employees (retired or quit) have 90 days to write to the employer requesting retroactive pay they are owed following the rules posted on the Local’s website.

“We thank all CUPE members who took the time to vote either electronically or in person and are committed to continue to improve your contract,” said McAteer. “We will continue to hold the provincial government accountable and push back against any attacks on our public health care system and the workers who support it”.

Throughout negotiations, health care support staff have felt extremely disrespected by the current government–and continue to feel undervalued. Many members told us they voted not because they liked the deal, but because they couldn’t wait any longer.

In solidarity,
Your Bargaining Council

 

Health Care Contract Ratification Info Sessions

CUPE reached a tentative agreement on August 29, 2022.  CUPE will be hosting Info Sessions both in person and virtually via Zoom (see links below).

Members can attend any of the virtual or in-person meetings at the hotels/inns or halls or at their own Employer’s site.

The information is the same for everyone.  A video presentation will be available on the Locals’ websites or through your Local Executives starting Sept. 7, 2022.

 

IN-PERSON INFO SESSIONS for CUPE 204 members

 

DATE TIME PLACE
Wed., Sept. 7th 10 am to 7 pm Canad Inns Transcona (Ambassador A/B)
826 Regent Ave. W., Winnipeg
Thurs., Sept. 8th 10 am to 7 pm Canad Inns HSC (Ambassador A)

720 William Avenue, Winnipeg

Sat., Sept. 10th 10 am to 7 pm Canad Inns Polo Park (Ambassador 2)

1405 St. Matthews Avenue, Winnipeg

Tues., Sept. 13th 10 am to 7 pm St. Boniface Hospital (N-1012 Boardroom)

409 Taché Avenue, Winnipeg

 

HEALTH CARE RATIFICATION
VIRTUAL INFO SESSIONS

(open to all members)

Please download the FREE Zoom app.

DATE & TIME ZOOM MEETING LINK
Thurs., Sept. 8th

6 pm to 8 pm

Click on link:

https://cupe-ca.zoom.us/j/86558261119?pwd=eU1ZWERXcE53VmJabWptaDZsazcyZz09

 

Or call #: 204-272-7920  /  Toll free #:  1-855-703-8985

 

Meeting ID: 865 5826 1119

Passcode: 541446

 

Sun., Sept. 11th

6 pm to 8 pm

Click on link:

https://cupe-ca.zoom.us/j/86960066020?pwd=NFhibTFIY090QllxR2hhMFdTd3dHZz09

 

Or call #: 204-272-7920  /  Toll free #:  1-855-703-8985

 

Meeting ID: 869 6006 6020

Passcode: 391454

 

Wed., Sept. 14th

6 pm to 8 pm

Click on link:

https://cupe-ca.zoom.us/j/86773423003?pwd=dlA2SGxBazZYQ2RrM2d4QlRoQ3lXZz09

 

Or call #: 204-272-7920  /  Toll free #: 1-855-703-8985

 

Meeting ID: 867 7342 3003

Passcode: 514044

 

 

The ratification votes will be done electronically
and will take place September 20th, 21st & 22nd.

Details will follow in the next week.

CUPE reaches tentative agreement for Manitoba health care support workers

Late last night (Monday, August 29, 2022) the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) health care bargaining team and the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) reached a tentative agreement after twenty-one months of bargaining, for 18,000 health care support workers in Manitoba.

The CUPE bargaining team includes representatives from CUPE 204 (Shared Health, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority), CUPE 4270 (Southern Health-Santé Sud), CUPE 8600 (Northern Regional Health Authority), and CUPE 500 (Riverview Health Centre/WRHA).

A tentative agreement is when both parties agree that the proposed contract can be presented to workers for a vote on whether to accept or reject the new agreement.

The CUPE bargaining team will be recommending acceptance of the new agreement.

Please take time to review the highlight document.  A full ratification document will be available prior to the ratification.

Ratification (voting) will occur in the coming weeks.  Details on when these votes will take place will be shared in the next few days.  There will be many information sessions for CUPE members to ask questions about the tentative agreement, held in-person as well as virtually.

Members are encouraged to ensure their personal contact information is up to date.  We want to make sure all CUPE members have the opportunity to ask questions at the info sessions before the voting takes place.

We thank the CUPE health care bargaining team for their steadfast dedication to members through an incredibly difficult round of negotiations, including throughout the pandemic.

We also thank all CUPE members for their patience, support, and encouragement over the past five years, and for giving CUPE the strike mandate needed to keep the pressure on government.

Your support has helped push the government towards a deal that is acceptable, and which lays a stronger foundation for the next round of bargaining.

Tentative agreement highlights document (pdf)

Health Care Bargaining Update, August 5, 2022

CUPE continues to negotiate your collective agreement with the goal of leaving no health care worker behind.

Your negotiating team continues to meet with the mediator, Arne Peltz, including on July 28th and 29th as well as August 3rd and 4th in the evenings.  Mediation will continue August 10th, 29th and 30th.  We will most likely get additional dates between August 10th and the 29th.

On August 3rd, CUPE tabled all our remaining proposals.  The Employer is working on a comprehensive response for next week.  We are seeing some movement at the bargaining table on our issues, so we are working hard to continue fighting for improvements to the collective agreement.

We have made great progress on more monetary proposals such as shift premiums, shoe allowance, and uniforms, as well as numerous letters of understanding.

Outstanding issues are vacation, training and education, how STAT days will be taken, sick time for pick-up shifts, and letters of understanding around hours of work.  There are a few monetary items still outstanding as well, such as northern isolation/retention allowance, benefits/pensions for community groups, responsibility pay, and wages.  The remaining language proposals are important and will affect your day-to-day job, so we are fighting for these improvements.

CUPE has also requested market adjustments for several classifications.  A market adjustment is adjusting the salary scale to match other similar jobs in the province.  Most often the need for an adjustment comes from not being able to hire and retain employees.  CUPE and the MGEU are discussing forming a multi-union table to discuss the market adjustments with the Employer.

MGEU has reached a tentative agreement in Prairie Mountain and the Interlake regions.  The reason they reached an agreement before our table is because they simply did not have as many collective agreements to merge.  With so many groups in CUPE we want to make sure none of them are left behind. That is why our table is taking longer.  The Bargaining Council is fighting very hard to get a good collective agreement that addresses all members concerns including the general wage increase.

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.

Abortion rights are human rights!

The U.S. Supreme Court has made a decision that directly targets the health & safety, human rights, and reproductive health rights for those accessing abortion and reproductive health services in the United States.

The court’s decision is rooted in politicizing and legislating the rights and decisions away from those needing safe and legal abortion and reproductive health services in their home communities.

All people needing access to abortion services are impacted, as this decision ensures that their bodily autonomy is no longer their own decision. Instead, individual states will have decision making power over what reproductive health services will be available, based on oppressive control measures.

The deep rooted oppressive measures taken are reflective of classism, sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and discriminatory governance and control.

As Manitoba’s largest union, we share our voice and solidarity with the labour movement, reproductive health clinics, 2SLGBTQI+ organizations, and community organizations in the United States that are advocating and opposing the dismantling of these rights.

We will advocate for everyone who needs abortion services, regardless of race, class, socioeconomic status, gender or identity.

For those who are forced to access abortion services and care in a non regulated or private program, we know that the risks are great for infection, complications, and even death. Public service reproductive care centres and clinics are crucial to ensure all humans have access to inclusive health care services in 2022.

If travel and access to reproductive health care increases in Manitoba as a result of this decision, CUPE & unionized workers stand with anyone seeking reproductive health care in our province.

The following resources and services are available for immediate support:

The Women’s Health Clinic:

https://womenshealthclinic.org/what-we-do/abortion/

Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC)

Winnipeg 204-982-7800
or Brandon 204-727-0417
https://serc.mb.ca/reproductive-justice-in-rural-and-remote-manitoban-communities/

For Teen Health information and a list of Teen Clinics in Manitoba visit: www.teentalk.ca

Klinic Crisis Line
204-786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019

Services in the Northern Health Region:

https://northernhealthregion.com/programs-and-services/medical-abortion/

To donate to abortion services in Manitoba, visit: