2021 Budget fails to invest in Manitobans during our time of greatest need
Apr 07, 2021
Today, amidst the worst pandemic in a century, the Pallister Government released a provincial budget that does not provide for the needs of Manitobans and their families, or address the ongoing economic crisis we are facing.
“This budget does nothing to reverse the years of chronic under-funding and staff shortages that have made it impossible for our province to respond sufficiently to the COVID crisis,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “It simply further erodes the public services we all rely on.”
After all Manitobans have been through over the past year, she expressed disappointment with the budget’s utter lack of focus on people.
“Families and businesses continue to look for a lifeline and are being met once again with cuts and austerity,” she said. “Urgent investments are needed to speed up our vaccination rollout plan and stimulate our struggling economy -- but instead the government has prioritized unaffordable tax cuts.”
Aggressive vacancy management and staffing cuts through attrition, along with ongoing threats to safety and health, have left critical public services – everywhere from health care to Corrections to community-based agencies -- struggling under the impact of COVID-19. But with virtually no increases in departmental budgets, there is no relief for MGEU members in this budget.
“On top of it all, through this budget the government has made clear it will not back down from its unconstitutional interference in free and fair negotiations,” Gawronsky said. “MGEU members across this province have continued to step up and answer the call despite an employer who thinks it’s okay to enforce wage mandates before bargaining even begins. Such disrespect for those who continue to dedicate themselves to serving Manitobans during this unprecedented time is frankly hard to fathom.”
Today’s budget also included cuts to:
· College and University Grants
· Workplace Safety and Health
· Employment Standards
· Custody Corrections
· Community Corrections
· Climate and Green Plan Implementation Office
· Apprenticeship Manitoba
· Department of education learning and Outcomes
· Rural and Northern Child and Family Services
· Office of the Fire Commissioner
“I’m proud of our members, and indeed all Manitobans, who have worked hard, followed the rules, and made the sacrifices necessary to get through this,” Gawronsky said. “They have been terribly let down by this government and today’s budget.”