MGEU responds to Province regarding MAFRI transfers
Jun 25, 2013The MGEU recently became aware that several Manitoba Agriculture, Food & Rural Initiatives (MAFRI) members were involved in a meeting with their employer on Thursday, June 13, 2013 and were told they would be facing involuntary job transfers or reclassifications.
On June 19, 2013, at the request of an affected member, an MGEU staff representative attended a meeting where MAFRI human resources staff were present. They advised that the changes would impact 30 vacant positions and 26 incumbents. As of June 30, 2013, some staff would have to transfer, and some would be placed in positions that do not yet have job descriptions, but that would result in pay reductions. All would be “red-circled”* for a period of time, subject to the approval of the Civil Service Commission.
Bill Anderson, MGEU Director of Negotiations, immediately contacted Doug Cieszynksi of Provincial Labour Relations to let him know that the MGEU sees any action which results in a loss of pay, or reduction in classification, as a direct violation of the collective agreement. As well, the employer may have breached the collective agreement in the manner in which they are interpreting the Change of Work Headquarters article.
As the official bargaining agent for these members, the MGEU should have also been notified of such changes before meeting with employees, which the union was not. It is the MGEU’s position that all changes which result in reduced wages, must be considered as lay-offs and as such, also violate the contract’s No Lay-off Memorandum. Anderson also made clear that there will be a number of grievances filed as a result of the employer’s actions.
The MGEU has made a formal written request, asking for:
1. The names of all employees affected by the forced transfer/layoff/forced classification changes/forced wage reductions.
2. The plans for other departments, including layoff of employees, deletions of positions, elimination of vacancies, reclassifications of positions, and any other actions that may negatively affect MGEU members.
The union will keep affected MAFRI members updated as more information becomes available. Members can also contact the MGEU Resource Centre if they have additional questions.
*Red-circling maintains an individual's pay
rate that is above the established range maximum for that individual's
classification. Employees' salaries may be red-circled when their positions are
downward reclassified and their current salaries are above the range maximum
for the new classification.