"For more than 20 years, our Regional Health Authorities have been working to standardize compensation in our labs to prevent this very problem. People should be paid the same wage for the same work. This is a big step backwards.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (08 June 2017) — On June 6, members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) who work at Westman Lab providing vital diagnostic work in the Brandon region, voted to ratify the employer’s final offer — but only because the government’s Bill 28 left them with little choice.
Final offer includes wage increases of 0%, 0%, .75% and 1%, and no other monetary increases
“After more than 3 years without a new contract, these members feel betrayed by their employer and by their government,” said Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President. “They were offered about 5 per cent less than all other diagnostic employees in the province due to the government’s recent wage restraint legislation. They call it the Public Services Sustainability Act, but this move will do nothing but harm diagnostic services in the region.”
Unlike other Diagnostic Services of Manitoba employees in the last few years, MGEU/NUPGE members at Westman Lab will not see an increase in their shift premiums. MGEU/NUPGE members are deeply concerned that such disparities in compensation will make it more difficult than ever to find qualified staff willing to work at Westman Lab.
“The reality is, recruiting and retaining skilled and experienced lab technologists in Brandon just got infinitely harder,” Gawronsky said. “For more than 20 years, our Regional Health Authorities have been working to standardize compensation in our labs to prevent this very problem. People should be paid the same wage for the same work. This is a big step backwards.”
Manitoba unions mount constitutional challenge of Bill 28
Along with other Manitoba unions, the MGEU/NUPGE will be launching a constitutional challenge of Bill 28. Overturning this heavy-handed legislation would be a critical step in our ongoing fight for wage parity at Westman Lab.
“This government ran on a commitment to protect and invest in public services and the workers who provide them,” Gawronsky said. “By not treating these 120 members with respect and fairness, they are putting a vital service at risk in Westman.”
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