Announcement of no layoffs, repeal of Bill 28 offers more reasons to hope for “fresh start”
Nov 24, 2021
Today, the Provincial
government made three significant announcements – the repeal of the Public
Services Sustainability Act (PSSA or ‘Bill 28’), a ‘fresh start’ and ‘different
approach’ at the bargaining table, and a new no-layoff commitment for the
“Provincial public services are already strained by the elimination of 2,600 jobs in the Civil Service over the past five years,” MGEU President Kyle Ross said. “We are hopeful that today’s no-layoff commitment, combined with yesterday’s Throne Speech promise to recruit and retain more provincial workers, will lead to meaningful investments in public services and the people who provide them.”
The PSSA has already done significant damage to collective bargaining in the public sector. Thousands of public workers remain without a contract and at many bargaining tables, employers continue to insist that the wage freezes and caps in the PSSA are non-negotiable.
“Today’s announcement about the repeal of the PSSA and the government’s stated intention to take a ‘different approach’ should translate into meaningful change at the bargaining table immediately,” Ross said. “Public workers who have kept Manitoba’s public services running through the pandemic should be treated fairly.”
The repeal of the PSSA does not deal with the fact that two Manitoba courts have issued drastically different rulings on its constitutionality.
“We agree with the government that this is an important issue that needs to be resolved – which is why the MGEU, other unions, and the MFL will still be applying to appeal to the Supreme Court,“ Ross said. “We trust the government won’t oppose this application, seeing as its own news release highlights the importance of resolving the constitutionality of the PSSA.”