MGEU members who are also represented by the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Manitoba (CMLTM) recently found out that they will be facing significant increases in their mandatory CMLTM fees.

The CMLTM Council has passed a motion to increase fees as part of what it calls its new 5-year “Financial Stability Plan.” This entails fee increases of three percent in each of the next five years, in addition to a new “Special Levy” of $100 in each of the next four years.

The fee increases and levy represent a significant financial cost for workers at a time when health care professionals in Manitoba are also facing government cuts and wages frozen by legislation.

MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky, who wrote a letter to the College asking them to reconsider their plan, believes the fee increases and levy come at the worst possible time.

“These workers are already being asked to do more with less by this government and now they’re being hit with a fee increase to do their job. Something has to give.”

While these workers see their wages trail behind others doing the same work in other provinces, Gawronsky says the fee increase could add to the challenge of recruiting and keeping these professionals here in Manitoba.

“At some point, the fees, the wage freeze legislation, and the added stress of health care cuts will mean that some will decide to do what’s best for them and their family by taking their skills out of the province. We have to remain competitive and this fee increase and levy are just one more reason for them to question if it’s best for them to stay in Manitoba.”