Revised offer differs very little from the one members rejected in October; members head to arbitration.
Winnipeg (09 Nov. 2012) - On October 25, members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) decisively rejected Manitoba Public Insurance’s (MPI) final contract offer. On October 30, the elected bargaining committee representing members at MPI went back to the bargaining table to ask the Corporation to reconsider its freeze on wages, benefits and other monetary demands.
The proposal put forward by the committee was based on feedback from many members who said their primary concern with the offer was the wage and benefits freeze during the first two years. The Corporation brought the union's proposal to government officials to discuss if they were prepared to change their offer.
After these consultations, MPI informed the bargaining committee that they were prepared to make minor changes and they attached a condition that the offer was only valid if the bargaining committee highly-recommended the offer to members in another vote.
Unfortunately this new offer differs very little from the one rejected by members on October 25 and does not adequately address the concerns that the vast majority of members have expressed to the committee; the committee cannot endorse this new offer.
After much consideration about how to reach a deal with the employer, the bargaining committee submitted a written request to MPI to resolve the issue through interest arbitration. This is a less confrontational option to strike action and, as the committee has communicated to the membership before, the committee considers taking a strike vote as a last resort.
Arbitration is a quasi-judicial process to renew or establish a new collective agreement. It involves a third-party (an arbitrator) which hears evidence presented by both the union and the employer on issues in dispute, and hands down a binding decision. Arbitration must be agreed upon by both sides before it can begin.
Once the employer responds to the request, the committee will send an update to members.
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