"We have to remain competitive and this fee increase and levy are just one more reason for them to question if it’s best for them to stay in Manitoba." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (11 March 2019) — Members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE), who are also represented by the College of Medical Laboratory Technologists of Manitoba (CMLTM) recently found out that they will be facing significant increases in their mandatory CMLTM fees.
Rise of professional fees plus wage freeze hits workers' pocketbooks
The CMLTM Council has passed a motion to increase fees as part of what it calls its new 5-year “Financial Stability Plan.” This entails fee increases of 3 per cent in each of the next 5 years, in addition to a new Special Levy of $100 in each of the next 4 years.
The fee increases and levy represent a significant financial cost for workers at a time when health care professionals in Manitoba are also facing government cuts and wages frozen by legislation.
Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President, who wrote a letter to the College asking them to reconsider their plan, believes the fee increases and levy come at the worst possible time.
“These workers are already being asked to do more with less by this government and now they’re being hit with a fee increase to do their job. Something has to give," Gawronsky said.
Recruitment and retention to become an issue
While these workers see their wages trail behind the wages of others doing the same work in other provinces, Gawronsky says the fee increase could add to the challenge of recruiting and keeping these professionals in the province.
Gawronsky continued, “At some point, the fees, the wage-freeze legislation, and the added stress of health care cuts will mean that some will decide to do what’s best for them and their family by taking their skills out of the province. We have to remain competitive and this fee increase and levy are just one more reason for them to question if it’s best for them to stay in Manitoba."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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