"From the very beginning, our partnership has been united against this unfair, unconstitutional bill — a bill that undermines the collective bargaining rights of thousands of working Manitobans.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (24 Oct. 2017) — On October 20, the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) and other public sector unions in the Partnership to Defend Public Services (PDPS) filed a notice of motion for an injunction against the Pallister government’s so-called Public Services Sustainability Act.
Manitoba government's bill interferes with collective bargaining
"From the very beginning, our partnership has been united against this unfair, unconstitutional bill — a bill that undermines the collective bargaining rights of thousands of working Manitobans,” said Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President.
The act imposes wage freezes in the first 2 years, a maximum of 0.75 per cent in the third year and one per cent in the fourth year of any new public sector collective agreements.
Public sector unions provide evidence against government's legislation
In July, the PDPS launched a court challenge against the legislation, stating that the act undermines the collective bargaining rights of more than 110,000 workers.
The partnership now has taken the next step in the process by filing evidence in the Court of Queen’s Bench. The filing includes
- comprehensive evidence that the act is infringing on the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers, including affidavits from a number of PDPS unions
- independent expert opinion from Professor Robert Hebdon of the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University
- an affidavit from Nova Scotia’s largest public sector union about its experiences with similar legislation in that province.
"Even though Manitoba's public sector unions were willing to come to the table with practical ideas to help reduce the deficit, the Pallister government was never serious about consulting," said Kevin Rebeck, PDPS spokesperson.
Rebeck continued, "They left us no choice but to challenge this unconstitutional law in the courts, on behalf of the dedicated public sector workers who deliver the services Manitoba families count on most."
The Partnership to Defend Public Services represents more than 110,000 workers who are members of: AESES, CUPE, General Teamsters Local 979, IBEW 2034, IBEW 2085, IBEW 435, Operating Engineers of Manitoba Local 987, LALA, MAHCP, MGEU, MNU, MTS, PIPSC, UA Local 254, PSAC,UFCW 832, UMFA, UNIFOR, USW 7106, USW 7975, USW 8223, USW 9074, UWFA, WAPSO IFPTE Local 162, BUFA, IATSE Local 63, UBC Local 1515, PCAM, and the MFL.
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