Campaign continues for provincial funding for youth services

“We need the Minister of Families to explain why his department is preventing a timely resolution to this situation." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President

Winnipeg (24 August 2016) — Macdonald Youth Services (MYS) and Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) have reached a Return to Work Agreement that will end the strike by youth crisis stabilization workers. Full services for youth crisis stabilization at MYS resumed on August 19, 2016.

Manitoba government refuses funding for youth servicesni; unon and employer demand meeting with Minister

The Return to Work Agreement was negotiated after the provincial government provided formal notice that funding to MYS will continue to be frozen, and that the province is prohibiting MYS from using its budget surplus to fund a settlement with these front-line workers.

“The province’s directive to MYS this week is preventing a timely resolution to this negotiation,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “With this Return to Work Agreement, full services for kids in crisis can resume while we work with MYS to secure needed provincial investments in this critical front-line care.”

Gawronsky and Erma Chapman, CEO of Macdonald Youth Services, will be making a joint request for an urgent meeting with Scott Fielding, Manitoba Minister of Families.

Workers can't afford to continue with uncompetitive wages

“We need the Minister of Families to explain why his department is preventing a timely resolution to this situation,” Gawronsky said. “We want to make sure he understands that uncompetitive wages are leading those who work with youth in crisis to leave for better-paying jobs in the adult system.”

The MGEU/NUPGE members at MYS specialize in diffusing emergencies and helping families before a complete breakdown occurs, and young people find themselves in hospital, in the social service system, or in court. Providing a fair wage for these critical workers is a sound investment in Manitoba families.

Under the Return to Work Agreement, MYS and the MGEU/NUPGE agreed to resume bargaining at the earliest opportunity and will work together to secure the provincial funding needed to sustain services for youth crisis stabilization into the future. Staff who work in youth crisis stabilization staff at MYS will be compensated for wages and benefits lost during the strike.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 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

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