MGEU President calls on government to reverse decision stripping new moms of one week maternity pay
Dec 10, 2020
Yesterday, the Pallister government informed the MGEU that they would not agree to vary the terms of the Civil Service collective agreement to accommodate Federal changes -- which come into effect January 3, 2021 -- that reduce the maternity leave waiting period for new moms from two weeks to one. By refusing to do so, they are robbing young Manitobans with growing families of a benefit that comes at no increased cost to them as an employer.
MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky immediately sent the following letter to the Premier, urging him to reverse this decision and do the right thing.
I’m writing today with a simple and urgent request -- reverse your government’s shocking decision to strip new moms who work for Manitoba’s Civil Service of a week’s maternity pay.
Since the Federal government announced improvements to Employment Insurance benefits in 2017 – which included reducing the maternity leave wait period from two weeks to one -- we have written more than once regarding the need to vary the terms of the Civil Service collective agreement to accommodate these changes. The MGEU has also, of course, included these changes in our bargaining proposals, although there is no reason that any such changes must wait for a formal agreement at a bargaining table.
Given this, and with the reduction of the maternity leave wait period, we could hardly believe what we were told this week by your Labour Relations staff: effective January 3, 2021, new mothers scheduled to stay home with a new baby will lose a week’s pay and this will be pocketed by your government!
The reduction in the wait period was put in place by the federal government to benefit new mothers. By agreeing to our proposed changes, you can ensure that new mothers working in the Civil Service will continue to get the benefits they’ve enjoyed for decades and at no extra cost to your government.
To do otherwise is not only unfair, it is utterly unnecessary. Why would your government want to rob young Manitobans with growing families of a benefit
that comes at no increased cost to you as an employer?
I urge you today to reverse this inexplicable decision.
We are ready to discuss the changes proposed to the collective agreement at any time. Like so many other employers who’ve already done so – including our colleges and Crowns and many throughout Manitoba's private sector -- it’s not too late to do the right thing.
The MGEU President also spoke to the CBC today, calling for a reversal of the government's decision.