LATEST BARGAINING NEWS
The Civil Service Bargaining Committee is scheduled to resume negotiations with the employer on November 29, 2023.
Meanwhile, the union continues to prepare for possible strike action. While the Committee remains hopeful a fair deal can be reached at the bargaining table, it's prudent to prepare for the possibility of a strike, especially given the logistical planning requirements of taking out a group as large as the Civil Service.
ESSENTIAL SERVICES AGREEMENT
MGEU staff and legal counsel have been meeting with employer representatives at a separate table to discuss which work functions would be deemed essential during a work stoppage, and how many members would be required to do this.
The union hopes to have this agreement in place shortly.
In the event of a strike, MGEU strike pay will be administered by direct deposit, which requires a valid personal email address to be processed. Therefore, members who have not already signed a membership card are encouraged to fill out an application here, and those who have signed an application, but haven't provided a valid personal email address, can update their contact information here.
CATCH UP, KEEP UP ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
In mid-November, the MGEU launched a radio and online advertising campaign in support of a fair Civil Service deal.
The campaign encourages Manitobans to send a message to the Premier in support of fixing provincial public services and providing a fair deal for provincial workers.
Visit KeepUsTogether.ca and send a message to the Premier in support.
OVERVIEW OF BARGAINING
Civil Service members had an opportunity to share their ideas for improving their contract in September/October 2022.
Dozens of meetings were scheduled, many including options to attend in-person or online.
All members were encouraged to attend their Local meeting, discuss their priorities and concerns, and vote on which proposals they'd most like incorporated into the next collective agreement.
Once feedback from members was collected, the Civil Service Bargaining Committee met throughout the fall to review proposals and pull them together into a comprehensive bargaining package.
The Bargaining Committee exchanged proposal packages with the employer on February 23, 2023 and negotiations began in late March.
MGEU Presidents from Civil Service Locals across the province met on Friday, June 10 to hear more about how it's time to catch and keep up with the rising cost of living during this round of negotiations.
The Civil Service Bargaining Committee met with the employer regularly over the summer to discuss non-monetary issues related to employee rights and working conditions, and made some progress.
As for monetary talks, both sides continued working through proposals. The employer's offer did not sufficiently address members' concerns regarding current inflationary pressures on top of the years when wage increases did not keep up with inflation.
The MGEU has also been meeting regularly with employer representatives to negotiate the terms of an Essential Services Agreement, which will determine which positions, and how many, would be deemed essential in the event of job action.
On July 13, the Bargaining Committee held the first of a number of events outside Civil Service work locations (with many more still to come!) to meet face-to-face with members and discuss why now is the time for members to send a clear message to the employer: a fair wage increase that helps Civil Service members and their families catch up and keep up with the cost of living is not too much to ask.
On August 29, 2023, the Civil Service Bargaining Committee advised the employer that an impasse had been reached and that they would be taking the offer out to the membership for a vote. The Bargaining Committee said it would be strongly recommending that members reject the employer’s offer and provide the committee with a strike mandate.
The employer asked the Bargaining Committee to return to the bargaining table on Thursday, August 31 and provided a revised offer. However, the employer still maintained their general wage increase offer of just 2% in each of the four years.
The employer provided a revised offer to Civil Service members on Thursday, August 31. However, the employer still maintained their general wage increase offer of just 2% in each of the four years.
As a result, the Bargaining Committee moved ahead with plans for a membership vote, while strongly recommending that members vote to reject the offer and authorize the bargaining committee to take strike action.
Members in Manitoba’s Civil Service voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s current contract offer and provided their bargaining committee with a strong strike mandate on October 6, 2023.
This is the first time in MGEU history that Civil Service members have voted to give their bargaining committee a strike mandate.
Given the comments Premier-Elect Wab Kinew made during, and since the election, there is good reason to believe that the new government may take a more fair and constructive approach at the bargaining table.
The MGEU urged the new government to make Civil Service negotiations a priority once they take office.