CUPE 204 President Debbie Boissonneault called on the Manitoba Government to postpone newly tabled legislation that would cause the further restructuring of health care, citing the current restructuring and bargaining delays as the reason to wait.
“Three years ago, the government announced they were going to shake up health care and see what happened,” said Boissonneault. “The government didn’t even wait until the end of the first wave of changes to announce another round of upheaval.”
CUPE is willing to work with the provincial government on a plan to conclude the current round of health care restructuring, enter into bargaining and include a timeline for further changes, however, having multiple open pieces of health care legislation at the same time is confusing to workers.
“Health care workers are frustrated. We are frustrated with the chaos these changes have created in the health care system. It is negatively impacting patients and workers, and we are frustrated that these changes are preventing us from getting to the bargaining table,” said Boissonneault. “We call on the government to finish what they started and then bargain in good faith with health care workers before starting any more changes.”
Government needs to slow down, work with stakeholders, including CUPE, and find a responsible way forward.
“We will sit at the table to make sure our members are represented,” said Boissonneault, “but we will also stand in opposition to changes that hurt our members or leave them behind.”
In Manitoba, CUPE represents approximately 26,000 members working in health care facilities, personal care homes, school divisions, municipal services, social services, child care centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services.