MGEU calls on Province to return to Bargaining Table
MGEU members in Manitoba’s Civil Service have voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s current contract offer and have provided their bargaining committee with a strong strike mandate.
“This is the first time in MGEU history that Civil Service members have voted to give their bargaining committee a strike mandate,” said MGEU President, Kyle Ross. “I think that tells you something. Public sector workers have had enough of the outgoing government’s 2% wage mandate and are prepared to take strike action if they don’t get a fair deal.”
For the past two weeks, MGEU Civil Service members have been voting on the employer’s current contract offer which would provide 2% general wage increases per year over 4 years. These members were notified of the vote results over the lunch hour.
“This does not mean the Civil Service is going on strike tomorrow,” said Ross. “The goal here is to get back to the bargaining table and get a fair deal. A strike is the last resort, but our members have said clearly that they are prepared to go there if necessary.”
There is renewed hope that a fair deal can be reached at the bargaining table given the new approach to labour relations that has been signalled by the newly-elected Premier.
“Premier-Elect Wab Kinew and his team walked the picket lines with workers on strike at MPI and MBLL. He told members, ‘I have your back,’” Ross added. “We hope this means there will be a new approach at the bargaining table.”
Ross noted that there is a big gap between the 2% wage increases that have been offered to provincial workers and the 3.3% and 3.6% wage increases that all MLAs, including the Premier, are taking for themselves.
“All MLAs, including the incoming Premier, are taking wage increases that are tied to Manitoba’s inflation rate,” said Ross. “If 3.3% and 3.6% wage increases are fair for them, it should also be fair for their employees.”
The Civil Service Corrections Component has a separate bargaining table for its sub-agreement to the Civil Service collective agreement. Corrections members participated in a second vote, and voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s offer on their sub-agreement.
The MGEU represents approximately 11,000 civil servants, who work province-wide in a variety of areas, including Correctional Officers, Conservation Officers, Public Health Inspectors, Snow Plow and Grader Operators, Sheriffs, Clerks of the Court, and Social Service Workers, among others.
Related News Stories:
September 7, 2023 - Civil Service voting dates and Information Sessions scheduled