The ballots were counted last night and MGEU members at Red River College Polytech (RRC) - Local 73 and Assiniboine Community College (ACC) - Local 71 delivered a strong strike mandate to their Bargaining Committee.
“Our members work hard to provide students with the very best education they can, but they have been struggling. Instructors and other support staff at the colleges are amongst the lowest paid in the country. Recruitment and retention is a huge issue,” said MGEU President Kyle Ross. “It’s unfair to staff and to students. It’s time for our members to catch up and keep up.”
A vote to strike gives the bargaining committee the authority – or mandate -- to take strike action, if necessary. It also sends a powerful message to the employer. However, a strike mandate does not mean members will be out on the picket line immediately following a strike vote.
“We will continue to meet with the employer with the assistance of a conciliator. We’re hopeful that this strong strike mandate shows the strength of our resolve and provides the impetus for an improved offer,” Ross added. "However, we've already begun making arrangements for job action if any new offer from the employer remains insufficient."
There are approximately 1,900 members in Locals 71 and 73, who work as instructors, and in administrative and information technology roles at campuses across the province in Brandon, Winnipeg, Portage La Prairie, Steinbach and Dauphin.