'All they’re asking is that they get a fair and respectful deal when it comes to their hard-earned vacation.' - Peter Olfert.
Winnipeg (5 May 2009) - More than 2,000 health care support workers throughout Manitoba have set a strike date of May 14. They are represented by the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE).
Workers at Fred Douglas Lodge and Victoria General Hospital in Winnipeg, as well as facilities in the North Eastman, South Eastman and Parklands regions, recently voted overwhelmingly to take strike action over concessions being demanded by the employer affecting part-time employees.
“In our personal care homes these days, at least 60% of health care support worker positions are part-time,” says MGEU president Peter Olfert. “For many, this means picking up shifts whenever and wherever they can to supplement their income. Now, the employer is telling them that they want to restrict how they take their vacations as well.”
Olfert says he does not understand why employer negotiators would be holding up a settlement over a non-monetary issue like vacation when many facilities, especially in rural areas, are already having serious problems recruiting and retaining trained health care support workers. Many personal care homes throughout the province are already operating with vacant health care support positions.
“These workers are the backbone of our health care system. They are the hands-on caregivers of Manitoba’s most vulnerable. All they’re asking is that they get a fair and respectful deal when it comes to their hard-earned vacation," he adds.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 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