“I was told by the Premier that he wouldn’t rule out wage freezes, which is troubling for many of our members whose wages have barely kept up with inflation over the past decade and, in many cases, have fallen behind those in the private sector." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (04 Nov. 2016) — Last week, talks toward a deal for the University of Manitoba Faculty Association were derailed by the Manitoba government’s eleventh-hour request that both sides agree to extend the current deal for one-year without a wage increase.
News of possible "compensation pause" concerning for public sector bargaining
In a joint news release, the U of M and UMFA said a directive from the provincial government “established fresh mandate parameters that seek cooperation in achieving a compensation ‘pause’ throughout the public sector.”
Understandably, this news sent an ominous ripple across Manitoba’s public sector, as it could potentially impact negotiations at every provincial bargaining table.
MGEU/NUPGE President meets with Premier; gets promise of fair bargaining
In response to the government’s directive at the UMFA bargaining table, Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) requested an emergency meeting with the Premier to discuss the issues surrounding upcoming bargaining for MGEU/NUPGE members, and to clarify the government’s position. That meeting was held on November 1.
“I was told by the Premier that he wouldn’t rule out wage freezes, which is troubling for many of our members whose wages have barely kept up with inflation over the past decade and, in many cases, have fallen behind those in the private sector,” said Gawronsky, following the meeting.
"The Premier did assure me that bargaining would be fair and not dictated before it even begins. That was encouraging and we will continue to work to hold the government to that commitment.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE