Gawronsky meets with Premier to raise members’ concerns
Nov 29, 2019Yesterday MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky, met with Manitoba Premier, Brian Pallister, to identify a number of areas of concern for MGEU members.
The Minister of Finance (Scott Fielding), Minister of Central Services (Reg Helwer) and Minister of Families (Heather Stefanson) were also in attendance, and while the meeting only lasted about an hour, a number of important issues were discussed. Here is an overview of the conversation:
Keep MB Infrastructure services public
Gawronsky cautioned against any plans to privatize services delivered by MB Infrastructure, such as snow clearing and equipment maintenance, and argued that using our public equipment and staff to their full capacities would be a much more efficient use of resources.
Demystifying the Amendments to the Public Services Act
The government has recently talked about making changes to “modernize” the Public Services Act, leaving MGEU members with many questions – and not a lot of answers – about what these amendments will look like.
President Gawronsky explained to the Premier that in the absence of details, and given all of the cuts and privatization in the Civil Service over the past few years (including the loss of over 2,000 civil service jobs), the mystery surrounding these changes to the Act has left many provincial employees feeling uneasy.
While the Premier would not provide additional information, he assured MGEU members that the changes in the Act are not intended to create a path to privatization and he committed to providing the MGEU with more detail about the Bill before it’s introduced in the legislature.
A Summit for Public Safety
Following several brazen robberies and a recent violent attack in a Winnipeg Liquor Mart, Gawronsky once again appealed to the Premier to bring together a summit involving law enforcement, addictions and social services, public and private retailers, unions, and the provincial government in order to get this crisis under control.
Health and Safety in Public Sector Workplaces
Gawronsky acknowledged that steps have been taken in the Civil Service to better address workplace injuries and asked the Premier to move one step further by ensuring all Manitoba public sector employers participate in certified illness and injury prevention programs. The Premier said he would consider doing this.
The Future of Rural Health Care
With so many
changes to health care, Gawronsky asked about the future of health care in our
rural communities. The Premier said that new announcements would be released
soon and today the province unveiled its plan to create regional health care
hubs outside Winnipeg in order to provide more health care services in rural