After one full week – still no answers from Premier
Apr 21, 2020
MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky released another media statement today, calling for clearer details one full week since the Premier said he would be engaging public sector workers and their unions on his proposed EI-workshare scheme.
“Make no mistake, public service cuts and mass layoffs are wrong for Manitoba,” Gawronsky said. “Economic experts have been clear on this over the past week -- job cuts and government austerity are not what we need right now. Having said that, we have repeatedly asked the Premier for basic information about his proposals so there is something to at least discuss. So far, they have not provided this information."
Questions remaining include:
- Which public services and workers does he want to call non-essential? And how many public workers is he considering laying off?
- Are the layoffs he is contemplating temporary, or is he using this crisis as an opportunity to permanently cut public services and jobs?
- Will the Premier try to get his way by bringing in legislation or abusing his emergency powers to override collective agreements?
“These are critical questions that need to be answered for the MGEU to have meaningful conversations with our members about their futures,” Gawronsky said. “These are also essential questions for Manitobans who are worried about the public services they count on.”
After this crisis hit Manitoba, the Premier delivered a message to Manitobans in which he said: “Stay positive here, there’s a lot of stress out there ... reassure people who are afraid. Don’t add to it.” (News Conference, March 19, 2020)
“We call on the Premier to heed his own advice,” Gawronsky said. “And we will continue to press him and his officials for answers so that we can have a meaningful discussion about their proposals.
This story was posted on April 21, 2020. Because this situation is evolving rapidly, we encourage you to visit the MGEU's COVID-19 Information page for the latest information.