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WINNIPEG Health care support workers represented by CUPE in Winnipeg hospitals and long-term care facilities have agreed to make one more effort to mediate a contract agreement. However, they were firm that this would be a last effort to avert a strike.

Presidents of the 13 bargaining units which rejected the Government’s last wage offer met today to coordinate their bargaining and strike action. They set up a new Bargaining Committee to continue negotiations with the Government.

About 5,500 union members voted August 14th to reject the wage offer of 13.75% over a four-year period. The offer also included a $7.2 million standardization fund to help equalize salaries in the health care system across the province.

“Bargaining is still underway and we’re going to do everything we can to avert a strike, but the members in the 13 bargaining units are prepared to strike if necessary,” said Lorraine Sigurdson, CUPE Health Care Coordinator.

“Clearly these members have said they don’t like the wage offer the employer proposed. Now it is up to the two sides to restate their positions and make some constructive moves. Otherwise the situation will lead to a major disruption of services,” she said.

The union is aiming to have meetings with the mediator this week and another meeting of union representatives will take place next week.

CUPE, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, represents health care support workers in the 13 bargaining units involved in negotiations - Health Sciences Centre, Grace, Seven Oaks and Concordia Hospitals; CancerCare Manitoba, Regional Distribution Facility, Riverview Health Centre, and Bethania, Golden West, Pembina Place, Luther, and Middlechurch long term care facilities.


For information, contact:

Lorraine Sigurdson, (204) 942-0343 ext. 214, cell 204 981-6499

CUPE Health Care Coordinator