CUPE Manitoba celebrates the International Day of the Midwife

WINNIPEG – The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) will join thousands around the world in celebrating the International Day of the Midwife on May 5.

The day will be marked in Manitoba with a rally and picnic on the grounds of the Provincial Legislature in Winnipeg. CUPE Manitoba President Kelly Moist will be speaking at the rally, highlighting the services provided by midwives in across the provinces and around the world.

“There is a growing demand for midwives in Manitoba, but far too many in the province are being turned away,” says Moist. “We must strive to increase funding for Midwife positions, and develop a clear plan for recruiting and retaining these valuable healthcare workers in our province.”

Moist will be joined by student representatives from the University College of the North Midwife program and Geralyn Reimer from Midwives Association of Manitoba.

Manitobans are invited to attend, and encouraged to bring families and friends to show support for midwives in the province. The event begins at noon on May 5, at the Legislative Grounds, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Southern Manitoba Health Care Support Workers Choose CUPE!

Health care support workers in the new Southern Health-Santé Sud have chosen the Canadian Union of Public Employees to represent them, following weeks of representation votes triggered after the provincial government announced the amalgamation of several Regional Health Authorities (RHA) last May.

“We are proud that CUPE will be representing us into the future” states Candace Wright, Vice-President of CUPE Local 4270, “when it comes to representation and fighting for us at the bargaining table, we know that CUPE is the union for us.”

Health care support workers had the choice between the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).  The voting period for Southern Health-Santé Sud ran from October 5 to October 26, 2012.

The unofficial results of the vote were released by the Manitoba Labour Board on February 14, 2013.  “We are encouraged by the results of this vote” says Shannon McAteer, Health Care Coordinator for CUPE “we are committed to serving Manitoba’s health care support workers, and are proud of CUPE’s record as Manitoba’s strongest health care support workers’ union.  We are happy to welcome the new members to our union.”

The results of the votes are as follows:
CUPE: 636
MGEU: 534
Spoiled – 76

For more information on the healthcare representation votes, visit

Dates have not yet been set for the counting of the ballots for the representation votes for Western Manitoba (the new Prairie Mountain Health), which took place between January 17 and January 31, 2013.

For more information, contact:

Shannon McAteer, CUPE Health Care Coordinator at (204) 797-8699

David Jacks, Communications Representative at (204) 801-7339

CUPE Asks Labour Relations Secretariat to Resume Health Care Bargaining

In a letter to the province of Manitoba’s Labour Relations Secretariat, the CUPE Bargaining Committee asked for negotiations of the CUPE Master Health Care Agreement to resume. CUPE first met with the LRS on May 23rd, 2012 to submit a brief that made the case against a wage freeze for CUPE health care support workers. Future bargaining dates were scheduled for July and August, however these dates were cancelled once the MGEU decided that it would trigger representation votes in the Western, Interlake-Eastern and Southern Regional Health Authorities instead of bargaining.

CUPE Joins With Manitoba Association of Midwives to Launch Awareness Campaign

Midwives Really Deliver Campaign Will Draw Attention to Midwife Shortages in Manitoba

WINNIPEG – Manitoba Midwives represented by CUPE Local 2348 are launching an awareness campaign to draw attention to the challenges facing the midwifery program in Manitoba.

Midwives and their clients will be featured prominently on Winnipeg Transit buses standing alongside the slogan “Manitoba Midwives Really Deliver”.

“Manitoba midwives are proud of the service we provide to expecting Manitoba families,” said Manitoba Association of Midwives President Megan Wilton, “however the fact that there are so few midwives in Manitoba means that the majority of families who would like a midwife to attend their birth are not able to access our services.  So, today we’re calling on the Manitoba government to do more to address midwife recruitment and retention.”

Demand for midwives is growing across Canada, resulting in a high number of families being denied midwifery services in all provinces. However, recent reports indicate that Manitoba may lead the country in refusal of service as a recent WRHA report says that 75% of pregnant women seeking the care of a midwife are turned away.

“We feel that there are three compelling reasons why the Manitoba government should address the midwifery shortage: higher levels of satisfaction with midwife-led primary care, cost effectiveness and that strong midwifery services will help ease the burden on the health care system allowing specialists to focus on other health care needs,” said CUPE National Representative Sheree Capar.

According to the Canadian Maternity Experiences Survey conducted by the Public Health Agency of Canada (2006), midwives scored higher than all other maternity practitioners in all categories of care.

Increasing evidence also suggests that there are considerable cost-savings associated with care provided by midwives compared to that provided by physicians and other practitioners. Some examples include lower rates of obstetrical interventions such as inductions, instrument-assisted births and Cesareans. This trend leads to decreased length of hospital stay, reducing the demand on overburdened hospital resources while preserving healthy outcomes for women and babies.

“I was unable to access midwifery care in my first pregnancy, despite contacting all the practices in the city”, said new mother Erin Bockstael, “so I was delighted and grateful to work with midwives at the new midwifery-led birth centre in my second pregnancy.”

June 12 marks the 12th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Midwifery Act, the law that recognizes  publicly funded and regulated midwifery in Manitoba.