Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

March 21, 2017 13:06 ET

Manitoba government's anti-labour legislation: history repeats itself

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - March 21, 2017) - The Government of Manitoba's introduction yesterday of anti-labour bills 28 (The Public Services Sustainability Act) and 29 (The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act) represents a direct assault on workers' rights in the province, according to the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).

Bills 28 and 29 respectively aim to impose wage freezes on the entire provincial public service and to reduce the number of collective agreements in the public health care sector.

"The Pallister government seems to be taking a page out of the former Harper government's playbook," said PIPSC President Debi Daviau. "But they're choosing to ignore the hard lessons learned from the Harper government's mistakes. Wage freezes won't result in better service delivery to Manitobans and won't miraculously deliver full coffers for the provincial government. And fewer unions are not the solution to the problems facing the government. The democratic decisions that have already been made by health care workers about union representation should be respected."

While PIPSC continues to be ready to work directly with the government to find solutions to an already stressed provincial health care system, the Institute flatly rejects the rationale behind the imposition of a wage freeze on public servants. "There's nothing new in blaming unions for the province's difficult fiscal situation. But that makes no more sense in Manitoba today than it did at the federal level a few years ago. The provincial government should sit down with its bargaining agents and work out real solutions to these issues, not try to take away workers' existing rights," concluded Daviau.

PIPSC is currently reviewing the situation with its colleagues at the Manitoba Federation of Labour (MFL) and considering all its options.

PIPSC represents some 55,000 professionals across Canada's public sector, including approximately 340 engineers and health-care professionals employed by the Government of Manitoba.

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Contact Information

  • Pierre Villon
    (613) 228-6310 ext 4928 (office)
    or (613) 794-9369 (cell.)