ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS DELIVER STRONG STRIKE MANDATE
99% Vote in Favour – Over Five Years Without a Contract
April 14, 2023 | Winnipeg, MB – Allied health professionals represented by the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals (MAHCP) have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a strike mandate after more than five years without a new collective agreement. MAHCP members work as rural paramedics and emergency dispatch; diagnostic imaging and laboratory technologists; mental health and addictions counsellors, respiratory therapists, midwives and over 40 other specialized professions that are essential to delivering health care for Manitobans.
“Allied health professionals have been waiting more than five years for a contract, through a pandemic and a worsening staffing crisis,” said MAHCP President Jason Linklater. “This strike vote result clearly shows they are done waiting.”
MAHCP’s Bargaining Committee called for a strike vote last month after more than a year of negotiations. The strike vote was held earlier this week, with 99% voting in favour of a strike mandate.
The wages of 6,500 health care professionals have been frozen since 2017 while the cost of living has risen over 20%. During that period other provinces, including neighbouring Saskatchewan, have provided raises and other significant hiring and retention incentives for many skilled allied health professions.
MAHCP has expressed growing concern in recent years due to escalating vacancy rates and critical understaffing in many areas including rural emergency medical services, diagnostics, and mental health. The unprecedented length of time since MAHCP’s last contract – the longest in Canada – continues to cause increasing challenges for staff retention and recruitment.
“It takes years to train these highly skilled professionals, they can’t be replaced and they are essential to health care delivery,” said Linklater. “Manitoba must compete if we want to keep them, and that has to start with a new contract without further delay.”
The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals is a union representing over 7000 allied health professionals working in more than 40+ professions across Manitoba. For more information on MAHCP visit www.mahcp.ca
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