“Manitobans have clearly indicated that they want public services to remain public and this is what the government committed to do." — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (12 Dec. 2016) — The Government of Manitoba recently completed its pre-budget consultations. As part of this process, Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE), made a presentation in October at a community meeting and just recently submitted its recommendations to the government in a document called Protecting Public Services.
MGEU/NUPGE research shows broad support for public services, not austerity measures
The document summarizes the findings of a Viewpoints Research public opinion survey that the MGEU/NUPGE commissioned earlier this year. The survey was undertaken to gauge the priorities of Manitobans as the government initiated the budget consultation process.
The submission urges government to reinforce Manitoba’s strong economic performance and to defend against a weakening global and national economic environment.
“This is not the time for deep cuts and austerity measures,” says Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President. “We’re asking the government to listen to Manitobans and take a balanced, measured approach to balancing the budget so the services Manitobans value don’t suffer.”
Manitoba needs to find ways to increase revenue: tax the wealthy and corporations
The union’s submission also addresses how MGEU/NUPGE members are often doing more with less in their workplaces, as departmental budgets continue to be reduced and vacancies are left unfilled. The MGEU/NUPGE urges the government to be mindful of these pressures facing workers and to ensure Manitobans’ services are protected before rushing to balance the budget.
Rather than pursuing a path of cuts to government services, the submission concludes by providing an alternate means of increasing revenue — the implementation of a tax plan that would see higher income earners and corporations contributing more than they do currently.
Government must make good on promise to protect public services
Most importantly, the government is reminded of its election campaign made to Manitobans to “keep public services public.”
“Manitobans have clearly indicated that they want public services to remain public and this is what the government committed to do,” says Gawronsky. “These services cannot be sacrificed by the short-sighted pursuit of a balanced budget.”
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