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WINNIPEG Contract negotiations between the Manitoba Government and 10,000 health care support workers, broke down Friday over the critical issue of wages and benefits.

Our members provide critical services in the Provinces health care system. The Government expects them to take much lower wage increases than other workers have achieved in their new contracts, said Marlene Tartsch, Chair of CUPEs Provincial Health Care Council, which represents the workers in over 80 facilities across the Province.

Obviously we cannot accept this unfairness. We have called in our local leaders from all over the Province to a meeting on Thursday in Winnipeg, to determine our action plan, she said.

We have been bargaining now for four months. The contract expired at the end of April. Fair wages and benefits are the key issues for our members. The Government has a long way to go to provide fairness to all its employees. Its time that Health Minister Dave Chomiak got involved, said Lorraine Sigurdson, CUPEs Health Care Coordinator.

Workers doing the same job, for the same employer, in different facilities throughout the Province get paid different amounts. Its simply not fair. Other health care professionals dont get different rates of pay, and neither do MLAs, she said.

CUPE, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, represents health care support workers in more than 80 facilities across Manitoba, including the Regional Health Authorities covering Central Manitoba, Interlake, Parkland, Southwestman, Marquette and Brandon. In Winnipeg, facilities include the Health Sciences Centre, Grace, Seven Oaks and Concordia Hospitals, Cancer Care Manitoba, Riverview Health Centre, Community Health Clinics and Personal Care Homes.


For information, contact:
Marlene Tartsch at
942-0343 ext. 214, cell 204 794-6817
Lorraine Sigurdson at
942-0343 ext. 287, cell 204 981-6499