Province Proceeding with Further Health Care Restructuring
Jan 20, 2021
Today, the Province of Manitoba provided formal notice that it is now proceeding with “Wave Two” of its ongoing health care system restructuring, which will see employees transferred from the following organizations “to Shared Health or another entity to be established by government”:
- employees of Cadham Provincial Laboratory;
- employees of Selkirk Mental Health Centre;
- employees of the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba;
- some employees from the Department of Health and Seniors Care;
- some employees from the Department of Mental Health Wellness and Recovery; and
- some employees from the Department of Central Services.
The MGEU has been advised that the employees transferring from the three government departments listed above work in the areas of Dentistry/Oral Health, Emergency Services, Disaster Management, Infrastructure Services Branch, and the Patient Access Registry and that some public health staff will be transferred into the civil service.
With Manitoba in the midst of a major health care crisis, President, Michelle Gawronsky, said she is very concerned that this government would trigger such large-scale disruption for health care workers and operations during the pandemic.
“Many of the impacted members are focused on processing COVID-19 tests. Others are providing mental health and addictions treatment at a time when we know the need for these services has never been greater. Is this really the time to cause further disturbance in health care?” she questioned. “It is simply unconscionable that the government would add to the anxiety for health care workers and cause further disruption by implementing large-scale changes to our health care system at a time when it is under such tremendous stress.”
Adding to that stress, the Province failed to provide basic information today about their restructuring plan – including a precise date for when the transfers are to take place, which civil service positions will be impacted, and which organization employees will be transferred to.
“We think this
government’s number one priority right now should be to do everything possible
to keep Manitobans safe and get our province through this pandemic. So this
announcement, at this time, doesn’t make a lot of sense. It also leaves our members with more questions than answers about the
potential impacts on their jobs,” said Gawronsky, while adding that the union
is committed to pressing the government for answers and defending MGEU members’