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Civil Service Interest Arbitration Award delivered today
May 18, 2022
Earlier today, the Interest Arbitration Board appointed to settle the terms of a new collective agreement for MGEU Civil service members, issued its Award.The MGEU is pleased that the Board awarded almost all of the union's proposals, while rejecting each and every concession proposed by the Province.
March 30, 2019: 1.40 %
March 28, 2020: 0.50 %
March 27, 2021: 1.65 %
March 26, 2022: 2.00 %
The general wage increases are retroactive and interest will be payable. Other Agreed Items are set out in the Award itself.
“It is too bad this government made us go to court twice to get a contract that could have been achieved much sooner at the bargaining table,” said MGEU President Kyle Ross.
“When we started this process, the government had passed wage freeze legislation and was insisting that members accept two years of zero increases,” said Ross. “We knew that the only path to a fair settlement was through the interest arbitration process. Going that route and fighting the wage freezes has paid off – civil service members will get wage increases in every year of this four-year contract.”
In making today’s award, the Interest Arbitration Board stated: “We do not find MGEU responsible for any delay in bargaining which would preclude the awarding of interest on retroactive wages.” For this reason, the Board awarded interest on retroactive pay owing. This is a first-time achievement for Civil Service members.
As an Award was issued to settle there terms of the collective agreement, there will not be a ratification vote. The employer has committed to do everything possible to make the necessary changes to the collective agreement so that it can be signed and implemented as soon as possible. Once that happens and the new pay plans are configured in SAP, retroactive pay adjustments can be processed. The employer advises that this should be done by the end of September.
Because this process was so lengthy, the bargaining committee will be back at the bargaining table in less than a year, and will be able to tackle emerging issues like inflation and the post-Covid work environment. Proposal meetings will be held in the fall, and the committee looks forward to participation from the membership. Please stay tuned for more information about this process as it moves forward.
The current Civil Service collective agreement expired on March 29, 2019. Bargaining began in 2019 under the threat of public sector wage restraint legislation, known as the Public Services Sustainability Act. In fall 2019, MGEU requested the Minister to appoint an Interest Arbitration Board, which was refused. MGEU then fought successfully to the Manitoba Court of Appeal to have an Interest Arbitration Board appointed, so that an independent third party could determine the terms and conditions of employment for MGEU members. The Board, which conducted its hearings in September 2021, was chaired by Michael Werier, QC. MGEU’s nominee was Tony Marques, and the Province’s nominee was Rick Stevenson.