A review of MPI bargaining to date
Nov 29, 2012
Since members voted to reject MPI’s final offer on October 25, 2012, the MGEU bargaining committee has been looking at every available option to reach a fair deal. Here's what happened over the past month.
First the committee went back to the table
The committee asked to resume negotiations late in October and urged MPI to reconsider their freeze on wages and benefits for the first two years of the contract. But, because the wage offer is controlled by the Province, MPI management had to meet with the Government to discuss what they were prepared to change. The answer: very little.
The only change the Government was prepared to make was to extend the Information Technology Market Supplement (memo of agreement #5 - p.107 of the contract) from two years to four and restore the Medical Fitness Administrator and Medical Assessment Supervisor supplement (memo of agreement #7 - p.109 of the contract) for the life of the contract. They also attached a condition that the offer would only apply if the bargaining committee highly recommended it to members in a second vote.
The second offer wasn’t good enough
The bargaining committee told MPI that it could not endorse such a weak offer because...
1. MPI had extended these market supplements in the past and likely would have renewed them anyway because they’re needed to attract employees;
2. many members who receive the supplements told the bargaining committee they’d much rather see it become a permanent part of their salary, instead of annually renewed;
3. the supplements apply to less than 3% of all MPI members; and most importantly,
4. the revised offer represented a very minor improvement over the first one members decisively rejected in October. It simply didn’t go far enough.
A request for arbitration
The committee then asked MPI to resolve the issue through interest arbitration. MPI met with the Government to discuss the option but the Corporation responded on November 19 by saying “We have considered your proposal carefully and have respectfully decided to decline your suggestion.”
Conciliation: the last option before taking a strike vote
As the bargaining committee has said before, they regard taking any type of job action as a last resort because it can be very disruptive for members and the public. So, the committee’s final option before taking a strike vote (see the FAQs about Strike Action for more information about striking) was to request conciliation services. A conciliation officer has been appointed and the process will begin on December 6 (see the FAQs about the MPI Bargaining Process for more about how conciliation works).
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MGEU Bargaining Committee for MPI:
Melissa Gosnell (Thompson)
Doug Eyres (The Pas)
Nancy Gibbs (Dauphin)
Paulina Harron (Brandon)
Val Doherty (Winkler)
Jacques Lambert (Steinbach)
Amanda Caufield (Winnipeg)
Beth Hazelwood (Winnipeg)
Marc Moins (Winnipeg)
Miranda Lawrence (MGEU Negotiator)