Risk Recognition Program Update

Publish date: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

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MNU members

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Dear members,

Yesterday, the Pallister government announced changes to its Risk Recognition Program.

The changes lift the pre-tax employment income cap from $6,250 to $12,500 over the 10-week period of March 20 to May 29, 2020, exclude OT earned from the income cap, and maintain a 200-hour minimum threshold for eligible workers. Click here for updated program criteria.

Although more nurses will now qualify, many will still not meet the updated program criteria. This criteria was set unilaterally by the Pallister Government. It was not supported or endorsed by MNU.

Individual nurses will need to look at their own income and hours worked during the period of March 20 to May 29, 2020 to determine their own eligibility. Due to the variability of scheduling in health care, it is not possible for MNU to determine eligibility based on positions and EFTs.

If you believe you are eligible, the online application form is available at https://forms.gov.mb.ca/mrrp/.

The provincial government is responsible for the administration of this program. If you have questions or concerns, we encourage you to contact the Manitoba Economic Assistance Office, toll free, at 1-888-805-7554.

Again, MNU does not endorse the design and structure of this program as it applies to nurses. The revised program leaves thousands of nurses without any recognition based on arbitrary exclusions. In a sector that relies on a balance of full and part time workers to meet the needs of patients 24-7, this approach is obviously unfair. We recognize this will cause frustration for many nurses and we share that frustration.

MNU repeatedly recommended a wage top-up as a far more equitable approach to recognizing nurses and other health care workers. Click here for a letter sent last weekend by MNU President Darlene Jackson to government explaining our concerns in detail.

Although the arbitrary and confusing criteria are ill-equipped for recognizing nurses and other health care workers, MNU members have every right to apply if eligible. In the meantime, rest assured we are making our concerns known to every level of government.

If you share our concerns about this program, we encourage you to contact Finance Minister Scott Fielding at minfin@leg.gov.mb.ca and Premier Brian Pallister at premier@leg.gov.mb.ca to respectfully advocate for fair treatment for all of Manitoba's nurses.

- Manitoba Nurses Union

2020-06-14 - Letter to Finance Minister

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