Shortage of downtown parking leaving members feeling squeezed
The closure of a parking lot to make room for Winnipeg Convention Centre expansion means some MGEU members have fewer downtown parking options.
Sep 13, 2013
Changes to the provincial employee parking program have sparked concerns amongst MGEU members working in downtown Winnipeg.
The sale of Lot AG last year to create space for the expansion of the Winnipeg Convention Centre resulted in fewer downtown parking spaces for provincial employees. It also prompted a review of the Parking Program from the Province last summer, which brought about changes to the Program and the creation of what they called “parking categories.” Any existing pass holders who do not fall into one of these priority categories were told to return their pass at the end of this month.
In response, members have been vocal about the issue and MGEU representatives have echoed those concerns repeatedly over the past few months in meetings with the Government. Last month, President Michelle Gawronsky sent a letter to Minister Stan Struthers asking him to sit down to discuss this issue and hopefully find some solutions. So far, a meeting date has not been confirmed.
However, on Wednesday, September 25 union representatives will be meeting with the Province again through the Joint Council Committee who will bring up this issue once more.
The allocation of parking spaces is not a benefit outlined in the collective agreement, therefore it cannot be grieved by the union. What is covered by the contract is the rate that can be charged, if a space is provided.
Memorandum of Intent #2 – “Employee Paid Parking” states that the central serviced parking rate (currently $40.00/month) will not be adjusted “by more than $2.00/month effective March 17, 2007; $2.00/month effective March 15, 2008 and $2.00/month effective March 14, 2009. All other parking rates shall be adjusted on a pro-rated basis and rounded to the nearest 25¢.
In effect, the memorandum
says how parking rates can be adjusted but not how parking is allocated, which
means it is management’s right to make changes regarding how they distribute parking
passes. Nonetheless, the union wants the Government to recognize this is a
significant concern for members in our downtown Winnipeg workplaces and is willing to work with them to try to find a solution to this problem for MGEU members.