CUPE Manitoba Welcomes New Members at the City of Steinbach

STEINBACH, MANITOBA – The Canadian Union of Public Employees is proud to welcome new members from the City of Steinbach Public Works and Solid Waste departments.

“CUPE is Manitoba’s strongest union for municipal workers” says Kelly Moist, President of CUPE Manitoba “we know the types of issues municipal workers face, and we’re proud to represent members at the City of Steinbach”.

CUPE will now represent approximately 26 members in the City of Steinbach, in addition to approximately 7000 municipal workers in communities across Manitoba.

An application for certification to join CUPE was issued by the Manitoba Labour Board on March 27, 2015.

CUPE Manitoba represents over 25,000 members in Manitoba, including municipalities, school divisions, health care, social services, crown corporations, and post-secondary education.

Winnipeg operating budget “devil is in the detail”

WINNIPEG – The union that represents Winnipeg’s municipal workers is looking to the Mayor to protect the city’s front line services and staff.

“Our city relies on our contingent of expert staff,” said Mike Davidson, President of CUPE Local 500. “After many years of vacancy management and a proposed additional increase of $3.4 million over last year, many of our city’s services are being operated with reduced levels of staffing.”

The effect of the city’s decade-long property tax freeze, coupled with the equally long vacancy management program, has put the city far behind other cities in Western Canada.

“We’re looking for leadership from City Hall to improve, rather than cut the services Winnipeggers rely on,” said Davidson. “We have a lot of catching up to do as a city, so now is the time to invest in our future.”

Average tax increases in large Western Canadian cities in 2015 is approximately 4.86 per cent, twice that of the proposed 2.3 per cent in Winnipeg. “Winnipeg’s revenue streams have been strangled for a decade,” said Davidson. “Now is the time for investment, not further austerity and cuts.”

CUPE Local 500 would like to see leadership from the city on the following:

  • An immediate end to the vacancy management program – to ensure adequate staffing levels in city services;
  • Increased staff levels in 311 – to ensure Winnipeggers have immediate access to front line services;
  • Contracting-in of previously outsourced work such as snow clearing, to ensure accountable and quality public service delivery;
  • Eliminate further reductions to the business tax. Business and commercial properties need to contribute more to the financial well being of our city;
  • An increase in tax revenue that matches average tax increases in other Western Canadian cities;
  • An improved public engagement and consultation budget process that includes input by members of the public service and civic unions and associations;
  • Maintaining or improving the level of city services currently being provided to Winnipeggers – to ensure that our citizens do not receive cuts to the services they rely on.

“We understand that running a city budget is difficult,” said Davidson “and we want City Hall to know that we, as the city’s workers, are here to offer our expertise and help.”

CUPE 500 launches snow plowing hotline

WINNIPEG – The union that represents Winnipeg’s municipal workers is looking for the public’s feedback on the state of the city’s snow clearing services through a toll-free hotline and website. winnipeg

“We know that Winnipeggers have concerns about snow plowing,” said Mike Davidson, President of CUPE Local 500. “We want to collect citizens’ stories on how poor plowing has affected their lives.”

On February 10th, the City of Winnipeg Standing Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works endorsed a motion to develop a report that compares the cost and quality of private snow clearing contractors to snow clearing provided by city workers. Approximately 80% of Winnipeg’s snow clearing is contracted out to private companies.

“We believe city workers can do the job better,” said Davidson. “Our hotline will collect stories from Winnipeggers to help show the city that our community deserves the best snow plowing possible. This is a winter city, after all!”

Information gathered from the Snow Plowing Hotline will be compiled and provided to the Public Works Department to help inform their report with real stories from Winnipeggers. The Snow Plowing Hotline can be reached at 1-855-223-9311 FREE. Winnipeggers are encouraged to leave a message about how poor snow plowing has affected them – whether it’s damage to property, delays getting to work, or impact on their business.

A website is also available at where citizens can also leave their stories and learn more about how their experiences will be used to help improve snow clearing in Winnipeg.

“At the end of the day we all want better services for our city,” said Davidson. “We believe that by sharing our stories we can find great solutions to the city’s snow clearing woes.”

To reach the Snow Plowing Hotline call 1-855-223-9311 FREE or visit

Winnipeggers who have not yet done so are also encouraged to file an official complaint with 311.

CUPE Local 500 represents approximately 5,000 employees at the City of Winnipeg.

CUPE Manitoba Solidarity Sector Conference an Overwhelming Success!

Over 140 CUPE members from across the province met in Brandon from November 26 – 29 at the CUPE Manitoba Solidarity Sector Conference.

At this conference members from Healthcare, Social Services, Municipalities, Long-term Care, and School Divisions met to discuss issues facing their sectors.

Additionally, special guest speakers included Mark Janson, CUPE Research who spoke to a number of sectors on Defined Benefit pension plans, CUPE National President Paul Moist who spoke about Manitoba’s positive track record on pensions, comparing Manitoba to other provinces where pensions are under attack. Newly elected Brandon City Councilor Lonnie Patterson also spoke on the importance of labour activists getting involved in local politics and elections.

For photos of the conference, visit CUPE Manitoba on Facebook or check out our Flikr gallery!

City suspension of mandatory unpaid leave the right move – CUPE

WINNIPEG – The City of Winnipeg has suspended their plan to force city workers to take a mandatory 3.5 days of unpaid leave scheduled for December, 2014.

“Citizens deserve to have their services delivered when and where they need them,” said Mike Davidson, President of CUPE Local 500.  “The proposed forced leave was simply bad public policy, and bad management.”

In March 2014, CUPE Local 500 filed a policy grievance against the mandatory 3.5 days of unpaid leave, calling on the city to ensure that services remain fully staffed and open to the public. The City denied the grievance, forcing the Local to consider a costly and lengthy arbitration process.

Since the 3.5 day furlough was first introduced by Councillor Russ Wyatt, who is also the Chair of the Finance Committee, CUPE has maintained that the forced unpaid leave would adversely affect the quality and delivery of important services and programs for the citizens of Winnipeg.

“We are pleased that we will no longer have to pursue legal avenues to challenge the furlough,” said Davidson.  “Citizens shouldn’t have to fight against the City for the services they deserve.”

CUPE Local 500 represents about 5,000 employees working at the City of Winnipeg who provide front-line services in public works, community services, water and wastewater, recreation and other service areas.

Emterra drivers and swampers join CUPE

Winnipeg – Emterra employees in Winnipeg have voted to become members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

“We welcome our newest members from Emterra into CUPE,” says CUPE Local 500 President Mike Davidson. “All workers have the right to be represented by a union, and we are looking forward to negotiating a fair contract on their behalf.”

CUPE will now represent approximately 185 Emterra employees, including garbage and recycling collection (drivers and swampers) as well as employees working in the recycling plant who voted to join CUPE in May, 2013.

“CUPE is committed to representing employees at Emterra”, concludes Davidson.   “We believe that a strong unionized workforce is the best way to deliver the quality services that Winnipeggers rely on”.

CUPE Local 500 represents about 5,000 members who provide important municipal services in Winnipeg.

Another Emterra group looking to join CUPE

Another Emterra group looking to join CUPE

Story by CUPE Local 500

Another group of Emterra workers have decided to seek union representation through CUPE Local 500.

On May 29, a certification vote was held at the Manitoba Labour Board for the Drivers and Swampers at Emterra in Winnipeg.

“We’re encouraged and excited that these workers are interested in joining the Union,” said Local 500 President Mike Davidson.  “We antcipate that this process will be finalized by the end of June and will update the membership as more information becomes available.”

On May 6, 2013, about 80 employees who work at Emterra’s material recycling facility became members of CUPE Local 500.

Please watch for further updates in the coming weeks.

– See more at:

City Council votes against contracting out of Winnipeg’s public golf courses


City Council votes against contracting out of Winnipeg’s public golf courses

Story by CUPE Local 500

May 29, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Today, Winnipeg City council voted 8-7 against a proposal led to contract out the management and operation of Winnipeg’s public golf courses to a private company. The proposal, which was spearheaded through the City’s Alternate Service Delivery (ASD) Committee, chaired by Deputy Mayor Russ Wyatt, was, another move to contract out a public service and community asset.

“We are proud to have played a part in this victory to help keep our four city-owned and operated golf courses public,” said Local 500 President, Mike Davidson.  “”We want to thank all the community groups and delegations who spoke in opposition of the lease proposal today and look forward to working with City Council to re-build our golf courses into strong and efficient community recreation facilities.”

Over the past two years, CUPE Local 500 worked with community organizations such as Outdoor Urban Recreation Spaces (OURS), the Winnipeg Labour Council, Manitoba Federation of Labour, and other groups to lobby City Council and inform the public on the detrimental effects of privatization. In October 2012, CUPE Local 500 launched it’s anti-privatization campaign through a TV ad entitled “For Sale”, referencing a number of controversies surrounding the Mayor’s pro-P3 agenda. In March 2013, the Local again launched a second TV ad entitled “No Bargain”, referencing the fact that privatization means higher costs, service cuts, and no accountability.

While the proposal to contract out Winnipeg’s public golf courses was criticized by CUPE and the community for inflating perceived losses, the campaign culminated in the Mayor’s office being “backed into a corner” and releasing a $70,000 ad campaign intended to deceive Winnipeggers into lobbying undecided councilors to vote in favour of the lease

In the end, the Mayor’s campaign was exposed by local media, and was called “unethical” and a “disgrace” by many city councillors.

The council vote required two-thirds majority to pass the contracting out of public golf services, and was ultimately defeated after 8 hours of debate and presentations.

Additionally, City Council voted 9-6 in favour of declaring John Blumberg golf course as surplus land, vowing to re-invest any revenue into existing municipal recreation services.

Here’s how they voted on the leasing proposal:

In favour of the lease proposal:

Mayor Sam Katz, Councillors: Russ Wyatt (Transcona), Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands), Devi Sharma (Old Kildonan), Grant Nordman (St. Charles), Justin Swandel (St. Norbert), Mike Pagtakhan (Point Douglas).

Against the lease proposal:

Councillors: Dan Vandal (St. Boniface), Brian Mayes (St. Vital), Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo), Jenny Gerbasi (Fort Rouge-East Fort Garry), Harvey Smith (Daniel McIntyre), Ross Eadie (Mynarski) John Orlikow (River Heights-Fort Garry), Jeff Browaty (North Kildonan).

– See more at:

CUPE 500 welcomes Emterra Recycling workers as its newest members in Winnipeg

Emterra recycling workers in Winnipeg have voted to become members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

“We are very honoured and privileged to welcome our newest members to CUPE,” says CUPE Local 500 President Mike Davidson. “All workers have the right to be represented by a union, and we are looking forward to negotiating a fair contract on their behalf.”

The Manitoba Labour Board counted the vote on May 6, 2013. CUPE will now represent approximately 80 employees who work at Emterra’s material recycling facility.

CUPE Local 500 represents about 5,000 members who provide important municipal services in Winnipeg.

CUPE Local 500 launches new TV ad promoting quality, dependable public services

Local 500 is launching a new 30-second TV ad that highlights the risks of putting Winnipeg’s public services in the hands of for-profit corporations. 

“At a time when private delivery of many of the city’s services is being considered by the Mayor and some members of Council, it’s important to remind the public of what we have lost, and let them know we are at risk of losing even more,” said Mike Davidson, President of CUPE Local 500. 

“For Sale” will begin airing on Winnipeg stations Wednesday, October 31 and will run until the end of November.

“The attack on public services is intensifying in Winnipeg,” said Davidson. “Continued privatization and contracting out will mean higher costs, fewer and less dependable services, and less accountability for the people of Winnipeg.”

You can click here to view the ad.