MGEU/NUPGE making headway on Sherriff issues across the province.
Winnipeg (19 Nov. 2012) - Earlier this fall, the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) met with Justice Minister Andrew Swan and senior government officials regarding planned improvements to Manitoba Sheriffs services. Since that meeting, the union has had subsequent talks with the government to clarify points on a number of issues and just recently received additional details. Some of the changes being planned to help reduce the strain on the justice system are:
• Manitoba Justice is continuing to work with the courts to expand the use of cameras in court to deal with a number of matters and is evaluating with key stakeholders when the accused would be required to make a court appearance; and
• Manitoba Justice has launched a pilot program in Thompson to allow clients and their lawyers to meet via video-conference. The MGEU/NUPGE believes this practice should be rolled out in other areas as well (if not the entire province) to reduce the heavy workload with which sheriffs are currently handling.
Province committed to hiring additional Sheriffs
• Manitoba Justice has said it will convert six part-time positions to full-time and fill those six part-time vacancies with new employees. For a number of years, the MGEU/NUPGE has been advocating for the need to hire more sheriffs; and
• The department also plans to fill ten additional vacant positions with new staff and possibly hire ten more personnel in the new year. The union has been told that some of the hiring is already occurring. Clearly, hiring more personnel is something that is sorely needed in order to ensure safety and efficiency in the services sheriffs provide.
The MGEU/NUPGE’s goal is to continue to lobby government to make the necessary changes to ensure sheriffs have the tools they need – this includes addressing the subpar vehicles currently in use around the province.
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