Health care workers from 20 CUPE health care facilities that service Winnipeg and Manitoba have joined together to form a new union local to challenge the provincial government’s attacks on health care and to create one strong voice for health care workers: CUPE Local 204.
“Health care workers at twenty CUPE health care sites, including hospitals, long-term care homes, community clinics and more have voted to merge into one strong health care union to defend our public health care system and the patients and workers who rely on it,” said Debbie Boissonneault, President of CUPE 204.
Throughout the summer and fall of 2017, CUPE members conducted votes to merge existing CUPE health care locals into one local union, established new bylaws and elected a new executive that represents each of the 20 health care sites.
CUPE Local 204 received official certification from the Manitoba Labour Board in November 2017.
CUPE 204 is also a response to the government’s cuts to the health care system, including the closing of ERs, Urgent Care Centres and other health care services, privatization, the chaotic restructuring imposed on frontline workers, and the Pallister Government’s Bill 28 and Bill 29. “Health care workers need a strong, united voice now more than ever,” said Boissonneault. “With government cuts, privatization, and chaotic restructuring in health care, CUPE 204 is that voice.”
CUPE 204 is also launching a “Stop The Health Care Cuts” campaign, offering free Stop The Health Care Cuts lawn or window signs to anyone in the community who also wishes to express opposition to the Pallister government’s attacks on health care. “We know just how many Manitobans are upset with the government’s attacks on health care and we welcome everyone to order a free Stop The Health Care Cuts sign for their yards, so we can make it clear that these cuts must stop,” said Boissonneault.
Members of the public can order a free sign at 204.cupe.ca, and CUPE activists will deliver the signs and set them up, all free of charge.
“With all the changes being imposed by the Pallister government in health care, Manitobans can rest assured that frontline health care workers are taking action to protect the health care services and programs we all rely on,” concluded Boissonneault. “We are all in this together.”
CUPE 204 represents approximately 7,000 health care workers at the following Winnipeg health care sites: Bethania Mennonite Personal Care Home, Concordia Hospital, Golden West Centennial Lodge, Klinic Community Health Centre, Lions Housing Personal Care Centre, Luther Home, Middlechurch Home of Winnipeg, Mount Carmel Clinic, Nine Circles Community Health Centre, Nor’West Co-op Community Health Centre, Pembina Place Mennonite Personal Care Home, Rehabilitation Centre for Children (Physiotherapists/Occupational Therapists), Rehabilitation Centre for Children (staff other than Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists), Seven Oaks General Hospital, Sexuality Education Resource Centre Manitoba, St. Joseph’s Residence Inc., Grace Hospital, Health Sciences Centre, WRHA – Midwives, WRHA Nutrition and Food Services – Regional Distribution Facility, Women’s Health Clinic.