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BRANDON Public sector support workers meeting in Brandon this week at the annual CUPE Manitoba Convention blasted the provincial government on its treatment of public sector support workers, but agreed to continue their support for the NDP.

According to Kevin Rebeck, president of CUPE Manitoba, The members are supportive of the NDP, but were very frustrated with the lack of government attention on issues facing us. We support the ideals and principles of the New Democratic Party, and we will continue to do so at the polls, but we want to see concrete improvements for our members and all working people in the province.

Delegates to the CUPE Manitoba Convention heard from Premier Gary Doer, who emphasized the importance of what CUPE members are doing to support progressive change in the province. Your position on water has helped us stand our ground and we have banned the sale of all bulk water from the province. I also want to thank all of you for all your advocacy on behalf of child care in the province.

I want to say to each and every one of you, we respect your advice and opinions, the Premier told delegates. We always will respect free collective bargaining and you will never see legislation here in Manitoba to legislate away your rights to bargain on behalf of members as tough as you can.

Delegates from the floor, many who work in health care, told Doer of their frustration with the slow pace of bargaining, in particular wage standardization, which would deliver long-awaited wage fairness for all support workers across the province. Weve always believed that you are part of the health care team, Doer replied, assuring delegates that his government also wanted a timely resolve to issues of pay, pensions and standardization.

Delegates passed a resolution to increase pressure on the NDP government to act on the challenges facing CUPE members and all workers across Manitoba.

For more information, contact:
Kathy Maxon, CUPE Office, Brandon (204) 725-8888
Dennis Lewycky, CUPE Communications 942-0343, ext. 207 / cell. 223-6805