Manitoba budget supports infrastructure. What it means for CUPE members

The Manitoba Government’s 2015 provincial budget was released on April 30th.

Throughout this week we will be featuring a number of key CUPE sectors and how the budget affects members within that sector.

What is the provincial budget?

The provincial budget is the implementation of the government’s vision for the next year, as well as commitments to long-term and short-term investments.

Being part of a national union, CUPE members in Manitoba know that the cuts made in other provinces are not happening here. The Manitoba NDP has committed to supporting the services that Manitobans rely on.

CUPE members in Manitoba are represented in workplaces across the province, in almost every community. Building physical infrastructure like roads means a lot to CUPE members.

But what does the 2015 provincial budget mean to CUPE members in Manitoba?

Investments in infrastructure make it easier and safer for our members to do their jobs, to get to work and return home to their families safely. The Manitoba government has introduced numerous safety measures over the years to protect both drivers as well as CUPE members who work on roads (including municipal workers).

From school bus drivers to health care aides getting to work, this government’s prioritisation of improved roads means a lot to CUPE members.

Some highlights of new improvements to roads in Manitoba include: elections

–       Repaving PTH 10- near Swan River and south of Flin Flon.

–       PTH 6 north

–       PTH to Steinbach

–       PTH 10 north and south of Brandon

The province is also committed to improving roads and flood protection in Winnipeg and across the province as well as expanding and improving transit services, making it easier for CUPE members to have access to reliable transit.

Althought Manitoba is the first province in Canada to implement P3 accountability legislation (a move supported by CUPE), we will work with the province to push back against any type of P3 highway project as seen in Ontario.

Stay tuned for “Manitoba budget fights poverty. What it means for CUPE members”

 

Manitoba budget supports childcare and social services. What it means for CUPE members

The Manitoba Government’s 2015 provincial budget was released on April 30th.

Throughout this week we will be featuring a number of key CUPE sectors and how the budget affects members within that sector.

What is the provincial budget?

The provincial budget is the implementation of the government’s vision for the next year, as well as commitments to long-term and short-term investments.

Being part of a national union, CUPE members in Manitoba know that the cuts made in other provinces are not happening here. The Manitoba NDP has committed to supporting the services that Manitobans rely on.

CUPE members in Manitoba work in childcare facilities across the province, as well as working as support staff in Winnipeg Child and Family Services.

But what does the 2015 provincial budget mean to CUPE members in Manitoba?

Child Care       

The province is funding 900 new universally accessible and affordable childcare spaces and is supporting higher wages for child-care (ECE) workers as well as building and expanding child-care centres.

This commitment to increasing wages through wage enhancement for child-care workers is welcome and will continue to improve working conditions and raise the bar for all child-care workers.

However CUPE is continuing to exert pressure on both the provincial and federal governments to ReThink Childcare, and provide a better child care system for all.

Social Services

The province is increasing funding to family services by $20 million. This includes the commitment to increase staffing in Child and Family Services by 210 new workers, many of whom will be CUPE members.

The government has also begun providing funding for the Community Living wage enhancement fund, an initiative that was a result of a strong campaign by CUPE Local 3085 Community Living Selkirk.

We all care for Manitoba’s children, and this budget helps to increase access to childcare and provide much-needed resources to our members who care for children in need.

Stay tuned for “Manitoba budget supports infrastructure. What it means for CUPE members”

Manitoba budget supports health care. What it means for CUPE members

The Manitoba Government’s 2015 provincial budget was released on April 30th.

Throughout this week we will be featuring a number of key CUPE sectors and how the budget affects members within that sector.

What is the provincial budget?

The provincial budget is the implementation of the government’s vision for the next year, as well as commitments to long-term and short-term investments.

Being part of a national union, CUPE members in Manitoba know that the cuts made in other provinces are not happening here. The Manitoba NDP has committed to supporting the services that Manitobans rely on.

CUPE members work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community clinics across Manitoba.

But what does the 2015 provincial budget mean to CUPE members in Manitoba?

The Manitoba budget commits to ensuring that there are no cuts to front-line health services that Manitobans rely on. Other jurisdictions like Saskatchewan are privatizing some health care services, and places like Alberta are cutting funding outright..

While some have called for reckless cuts to front-line services and a halt to building of critical infrastructure, we have chosen a different path” said Finance Minister Greg Dewar.

CUPE Manitoba is pleased that the province continues to push the Federal government to restore funding to the Health Accord – a national campaign of CUPE and the Council of Canadians.

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CUPE members rallying outside Federal MP offices, calling for a renewal of the Health Accord.

The budget documents recognize that “due to another unilateral decision, the federal government’s contribution to health care in Canada will be reduced by about $26 million … it will come at the expense of provinces and territories”.

In 2014 CUPE health care members rallied outside the offices of conservative MPs in Winnipeg calling on the restoration of this funding.

While there is still work to do to fight for better wages and a stronger health care system, the Manitoba budget is building on – rather than eroding – health care in the province.

Long Term Care

The government is increasing funding to Long-Term Care services by 10.7%, or $62.3 million in new funding. A significant increase to help improve long term care in the province. However CUPE will continue to work with the government to ensure that this funding goes towards improved staffing. CUPE Manitoba and the Private Personal Care Home Committee (PPCH) recently met with the Minister of Health to discuss concerns around staffing.

CUPE will continue to work with the provincial government to end the practice of “working short” in long term care facilities, particularly privately operated personal care homes.

Stay tuned for “Manitoba budget supports childcare and social services. What it means for CUPE members”

Manitoba budget supports education. What it means for CUPE members

The Manitoba Government’s 2015 provincial budget was released on April 30th.

Throughout this week we will be featuring a number of key CUPE sectors and how the budget affects members within that sector.

What is the provincial budget?

The provincial budget is the implementation of the government’s vision for the next year, as well as commitments to long-term and short-term investments.

Being part of a national union, CUPE members in Manitoba know that the cuts made in other provinces are not happening here. The Manitoba NDP has committed to supporting the services that Manitobans rely on.

CUPE members are the backbone of our education system, from K-12 through to post-secondary education. CUPE members work as school bus drivers, mechanics, custodians, education assistants, librarians, and other support staff in our schools, and as sessional instructors, librarians, teaching assistants, and grader-markers at the University of Manitoba, many of whom are students themselves.

So what does the 2015 provincial budget mean to CUPE members in Manitoba?

K-12 Education

The provincial government is increasing funding for K-12 education, ensuring that our school system receives the funding it needs to provide quality education for our children. This is in stark contrast to other provinces like Ontario and BC that have made drastic cuts and forced education support staff and teachers to strike.

Post-Secondary Education

The budget presents $20 million in new funding for post-secondary education, which includes a 2.5% funding increase to Manitoba universities and 2% to colleges.

Other provinces like Alberta, Ontario, and Saskatchewan have have been cutting funding to post-secondary education, and university administrations have been permitted to raise tuition by exorbitant rates, forcing faculty and support staff to strike. Even Manitoba’s university presidents applaud the government’s funding commitment, and recognize the cuts faced in other provinces (though while they support the government for rejecting cuts, the university administrators are imposing cuts themselves on workers).

The government is also realizing its commitment to eliminating interest on all Manitoba student loans, making post-secondary education more accessible.

The budget also removes car ownership as a barrier to accessing student loans, a move advocated by the Canadian Federation of Students ­ Manitoba.

The province has committed to the creation of a new Post-Secondary Strategy, which CUPE will be actively monitoring to ensure it includes support for our members and the community at the University of Manitoba.

CUPE will continue to push back against the University of Manitoba administration to fight against proposed cuts to programs, departments, or staff, and encourage the provincial government to reduce tuition fees and treat staff fairly.

Stay tuned for “Manitoba budget supports health care: What it means for CUPE members”

Provincial budget reflects needs of Manitobans, invests in services.

The Manitoba Government’s 2015 provincial budget was released on April 30th, and reflects the NDP’s commitment to working families across the province.

“Our NDP government is a strong steward of the economy” says Kelly Moist, President of CUPE Manitoba. “Manitobans want government to invest in core services and infrastructure, and that is exactly what this government is doing”.

The provincial budget is the implementation of the government’s vision for the next year, as well as commitments to long-term and short-term investments.

“Being part of a national union, CUPE members in Manitoba know that other governments have recently implemented deep cuts to government services which particularly impact society’s most vulnerable people” said Moist. “The Manitoba NDP has committed to supporting the services that Manitobans rely on”.

Of particular note are the unprecedented investments in infrastructure that will create jobs, stimulate the economy, raise wages across the province, improve road safety, protect Manitobans against floods, and improve other aspects of our provincial infrastructure.

The budget announced continued investments in childcare spaces in Manitoba, significant funding increases for acute health care and long-term care, as well as increased funding to education and post-secondary education.

The province made good on a commitment to eliminate interest on Manitoba student loans, making post-secondary education more accessible, and once again increases the minimum wage.

Additionally, the province has acted on recommendations from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ “View from Here”, endorsed by CUPE Manitoba, enhancing Rent Assist by $22 million to move it to 75% of median market rent.

“We are pleased that this government chooses to invest in the community, from infrastructure to childcare” said Moist. “This government understands the value of a diverse economy that supports families as well as economic growth”.

CUPE Manitoba represents approximately 25,000 public sector workers in health care, municipalities, school divisions, energy, airlines, social services and childcare, post-secondary education, and more.

Federal budget rewards the rich but fails every day Canadians

via CUPE.ca


Ottawa, ON 
– The Conservative’s 2015 federal budget may balance the books, but it is highly unbalanced in its impact on Canadians.  It puts millions of seniors at risk of poverty, abandons families in need of affordable child care and quality public health care, and doesn’t help Canadians workers who need better jobs, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

“The Conservatives have chosen irresponsible economic policies that slash revenues to benefit a few corporations and the wealthy,” says Paul Moist, national president of CUPE, Canada’s largest union. “This budget does far more harm than good in addressing the gap between workers and the richest Canadians. With this budget, that gap will only continue to grow.”

Maintaining unreasonably low corporate taxes, income splitting, tax credits for wealthy families like the expanded TFSA’s provide no help for every day Canadians.  These measures recklessly slash federal revenues that will mean more cuts to public services that Canadians depend on.

“Expanding TFSA does almost nothing to help the over 11 million Canadians without a work place pension. Instead of expanding the Canada Pension Plan – widely seen as the most effective, efficient and affordable way to keep seniors out of poverty – the Conservatives only offer another tax shelter for the rich,” says Moist. “The lost revenues from expanding TFSA’s – at least $1 billion over the next five years – will only mean more pressure on OAS/GIS. This budget is an unqualified failure for the vast majority of Canadian seniors.”

Canadian families struggling to find affordable child care are also left without any help.

“Families are spending more on child care than on housing – up to $2000 a month. This means the tax credit being offered up by Conservatives will barely cover one month. And that will be for only handful of families; most won’t get a dime,” says Moist.

The Conservatives lack of leadership on child care is even more pronounced in health care. Despite long waiting lists, five million Canadians without a family doctor, and skyrocketing prescription drug prices, the 2015 federal budget confirms Conservatives are cutting more than $36 billion from health care.

“We need strong federal leadership to strengthen our public health care system,” says Moist. “Our public health care is coming apart at the seams, and Conservatives simply shrug their shoulders hoping someone else will take care of it.”

CUPE is urging the Official Opposition to move budget amendments that will help create quality jobs, make urgent investments in public health care and child care, expand the CPP, and introduce measures that protect valued public services.

“This budget is clearly taking our country in the wrong direction. It fails workers, families, seniors, students, Indigenous peoples and the environment,” says Moist. “The only bright side is that with our pending federal election, this will be the Conservatives last budget. Next budget, we’ll be able to start repairing the damage done. It’s time for a change.”

CUPE’s complete analysis of the 2015 federal budget will be available on cupe.ca.

For more information:

Greg Taylor
CUPE Media Relations
613 818-0067
gtaylor@cupe.ca

Throne Speech Means Stability: CUPE

WINNIPEG – Today’s Throne Speech means increased opportunities and more stability for Manitoba families.

“The government has once again given us the important assurance that they will not cut the vital services that Manitobans rely on,” said Kelly Moist, CUPE Manitoba President, “the cuts experienced in health care and education by the Conservatives in the 1990s are still fresh in the memories of our members”.

The government also announced that it would be focusing on building the province’s infrastructure, including better roads to rural and Northern communities – many of which are traveled on daily by CUPE members providing services to those communities.

“New infrastructure connecting rural and Northern communities means that our members, including midwives, school bus drivers, health care workers, and more, can get to-and-from their workplaces safely to deliver quality services to Manitobans” stated Moist “and doing this without cutting services at the same time is the type of leadership and innovation from the government that we can applaud”.

The province also committed to expanding and building on apprenticeship programs, ensuring that Manitoba has a strong, well-trained workforce for the future as well as further investments in Manitoba Hydro to ensure that Manitoba is well-endowed with skilled labour, and low utility rates.

“These are the types of initiatives that governments should be looking at to ensure the long-term benefit for Manitoba families” said Moist “investing now means that we can all enjoy a prosperous future.”

While the provincial government is looking to capitalize off the ill-conceived Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement achieved by the Federal government, CUPE remains opposed to the opportunities for privatization and P3s that agreements such as CETA provide, and expects that any private partnerships will be fully scrutinized and assessed through the new Manitoba P3 Accountability Legislation

“Although the government may be taking some political risks, it is important that we as a community realize that the alternative – what the Conservatives have to offer – is a bigger risk” concluded Moist “Manitobans should not forget that the opposite of improving services, is gutting them, and that’s not something we’ve seen this government do”.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 25,000 members who work in health care, school divisions, municipalities, personal care homes, childcare, public utilities, libraries and emergency services.

CUPE Cautiously Optimistic With Manitoba Budget

Maintaining quality front line services for Manitobans a priority for CUPE

WINNIPEG – While today’s Manitoba budget announcement did not include significant funding increases to public services, CUPE is pleased that the budget does not include continued wage freezes for public sector workers.

“We appreciate that paying down the deficit is no longer shouldered by CUPE members as we have seen in previous budgets,” said CUPE Manitoba President Kelly Moist, “we are also pleased that we have not seen the types of cuts experienced by other provinces”.

CUPE applauds the government for providing additional funding resources to Family Services, schools and long-term care facilities, but cautions that these resources should be allocated to support staff that are on the front line providing care to Manitobans.

 

“Ensuring that our school support staff and health care aids receive their share of funding so they can do their work without over-stretched resources is important to quality education and health care” states Moist: “We will work with the province to ensure that these additional resources are allocated appropriately”.

 

Funding commitments to Family Services and early learning are all important parts of the CUPE Pay Equity Campaign.

 

CUPE also supports the province’s move to generate revenue rather than cutting front-line services, but questions the province’s use of a sales tax, rather than increasing taxes to top income earners and the richest corporations.

 

“CUPE believes that those who are doing well in today’s economy, namely the richest corporations, should be paying their fair share” continues Moist: “Manitoba needs to reassess its taxation policies, and move to a more equitable tax model”.

 

CUPE applauds the provincial government for taking leadership by increasing the minimum wage again this year, and will continue to monitor whether or not new infrastructure funding will be tied to Private Public Partnerships.

Manitoba Provincial Pre-Budget Consultations Announced

Seven pre-budget consultations will be held across Manitoba with Minister of Finance Stan Struthers. These meetings are meant to provide Manitobans an opportunity to propose priorities, thoughts, and suggestions as the Government builds its 2013 provincial budget.

CUPE members are strongly encouraged to attend these consultations, as provincial funding affects health care, education, social services, municipalities, jobs & employment, and more!

The Pre-Budget Consultations are scheduled for the following dates:

January 21, 7-9pm
Winnipeg South – Fort Garry Community Club, Victoria Main Hall
*Bilingual Consultation

January 22, 7-9pm
Gimli – Lakeview Resort

January 23, 7-9pm
Niverville Heritage Centre

January 28, 1-3pm
Flin Flon Chamber Councils

January 28, 2013 7-9pm
Swan River – Westwood Inn at Conference Centre

January 29, 7-9pm
Winnipeg North, Valley Gardens Community Club

January 30, 1-3pm
Brandon – Sokal Hall

If you’re unable to attend a consultation, you can share your views in writing with the minister at Budget Consultations, Room 103, 450 Broadway, Winnipeg, R3C 0V8; by email at minfin@leg.gov.mb.ca or by filling out the questionnaire at www.gov.mb.ca.