Mounting Evidence Province to Privatize Highways
Feb 28, 2020
For months now, MGEU members in the Department of Infrastructure have been reporting concerns about the declining level of service being provided by their Department.
Skyrocketing employee vacancies, equipment disappearing out of the yards where they work, and being left in the dark about the future of their jobs is extremely disconcerting.
“We have been sounding the alarm for months now that we believe the government is planning to privatize Manitoba’s snow clearing,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “I wrote Minister Schuler in November raising concerns about the department – and asking for a meeting. In December his Deputy Minister responded, which did not address our concerns. I’m still waiting to see if he will meet with me.”
Here’s what we know:
- The government hired a private consultant and imbedded them in the Department of Infrastructure with the instructions to review the entire department.
- In the job classification of Operator alone, we know that there are currently about 70 vacancies for workers who operate snow clearing equipment, impacting the level of service our members are able to deliver to Manitobans.
- The government released 7 tenders for snow clearing on provincial roads late last year.
- The government has started stockpiling equipment for auction in Brandon and Beausejour in the coming months. This equipment includes truck plows and graders that are used for snow clearing.
“I had the opportunity to go to Beausejour recently and see for myself the stockpiling of equipment for sale,” Gawronsky said. “We’ve put together a short video of what I saw and what’s at risk.”
Watch the video
have seen the effects when snow clearing is privatized in other provinces.
Ontario privatized their snow clearing services, which led to a scathing
report from the Auditor General,” she said. “It was discovered that
contractors used less equipment, less salt and gravel, they patrolled less
often, which resulted in reductions of service and outright service failures.”
Help keep Manitoba highway snow clearing and maintenance public! Send the Premier and the Minister a message.