CUPE’s comments come after Premier Brian Pallister stated that he is exploring not only wage freezes, but also wage cuts in existing collective agreements.
“A deal is a deal,” said Kelly Moist, President of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Manitoba. “If the Premier wants to open a conversation on wages, our starting point is the collective bargaining process. We fully expect the government to honour its election promise to maintain public services and jobs, and its commitment to respect collective bargaining.”
Added Moist: “Opening up collective agreements would be a very aggressive step. CUPE wants to move the conversation back to how we can work together for the public good.”
CUPE Manitoba is concerned that the focus on cost-cutting measures is part of an ideological approach that will do nothing to improve government, or the lives of most Manitobans.
Concluded Moist: “Last week’s Throne Speech called for austerity when Manitoba’s economy continues to be amongst the best in Canada – it’s time we had an honest, public conversation about Manitoba’s economy and the economic and social value of supporting public services and the workers who provide them.”
In Manitoba, CUPE represents approximately 25,000 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.