Message from the President: Bargaining Update – First Date for Negotiations Set

Publish date: Monday, August 31, 2020

Bargaining

COVID-19

Health and safety

MNU members

MNU President

Dear members,

There has been an important development in our efforts to bargain a new collective agreement. As explained in our previous bargaining update, MNU has been pressing employers to establish a date to commence bargaining. Today we can confirm that MNU and the employer have agreed to an initial bargaining date: October 15, 2020.

This is an important step forward, particularly in light of the fact that the Pallister government has effectively refused to allow collective bargaining to begin for years, using anti-union initiatives such as the Public Services Sustainability Act (wage freeze legislation) and the unnecessary union representation votes last year. 

We anticipate this round of bargaining will be extraordinarily complex and difficult. Under the Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act (Bill 29), which triggered the representation votes and remains in effect, MNU and employers must amalgamate most of our collective agreements, as well as the collective agreements brought over from other unions in the votes, into just six agreements: one for each health authority in Manitoba. Consequently, our bargaiAning team must navigate the complexities of negotiating within a vastly different bargaining structure. At this point, it’s impossible to establish a timeline for this process.

Rest assured, your Provincial Collective Bargaining Committee (PCBC) is up for the challenge. The PCBC was elected by MNU members to bargain on your behalf and has been active since 2016, reviewing submissions and survey results from members, and building a comprehensive package of bargaining proposals to address your needs. Following careful review of the results from the bargaining survey earlier this year, PCBC is scheduled to meet again on September 17 to finalize MNU’s package of proposals ahead of the October 15 meeting. 

I know members have faced extraordinary challenges in recent years, and COVID-19 has only added greater complications and risks to your work. Your PCBC understands these challenges, and will work tirelessly to achieve a fair deal for all MNU members. That means prioritizing not only for fair wages, but improved benefits, better protections against increasing workload and overtime, and of course, ensuring the highest standards of workplace health & safety. The PCBC has listened to your feedback, and stands ready to fight for you every step of the way.

Stay tuned for more bargaining news and updates in the weeks and months ahead. I encourage you to retain your subscription to our email list, and check manitobanurses.ca regularly for more information. 

Membership engagement will prove critical in our fight for a fair deal, and your engagement in this bargaining process will be critically important.

Thank you for your continued support.

In solidarity,

Darlene Jackson
President & Chair of the Provincial Collective Bargaining Committee
Manitoba Nurses Union

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