Members of MGEU Health Care Support Locals ratify new agreements
Aug 22, 2022
After a long and difficult round of negotiations, members of Health Care Supports Services and Community Support in Interlake Eastern RHA and Prairie Mountain Health ratified new collective agreements today.
"These health support workers are the ones providing vital hands-on care for the ill and elderly in Manitoba, day-in and day-out, and they have been without a current contract for far too long -- so today is a good day," said MGEU President Kyle Ross. "As we continue to deal with the fallout of COVID, these collective agreements are an essential first step in acknowledging the profoundly important role these workers play in our hospitals and personal care homes and in keeping Manitobans living independently for as long as possible."
Highlights include wage increase in each year of the agreement and other improvements such as increases to premiums and benefits and additional compensation to attract and retain front-line workers.
The agreements also contain groundbreaking provisions for home care workers, including paid rest periods, evening and night premiums, maternity leave top-up, and a long service pay step. The union and the employer have also agreed to further talks on the expansion of sick leave for home care workers, as well as health care benefits and pensions.
"Bargaining for these members was delayed again and again by a number of factors, including the government's health care restructuring and wage freeze legislation, followed by the pandemic," Ross said. "This current agreement goes all the way back to 2017 and expires in 2024, which means we'll be back at the table quite soon, ready to take on issues like inflationary pressure and continuing staff shortages."
Ross went on to thank members for their patience and support throughout the process.
"Those who get elected to their union Bargaining Committees usually put in countless hours at the negotiating table, but these folks were truly in for the long haul. My heartfelt thanks goes out to those workplace reps for their incredible commitment."