Dear MAHCP member,
Here is an update on the new legislation introduced yesterday should the bills be passed into law by the government. It is important for you to know that existing collective agreements are not affected by the Public Services Sustainability Act.
For our members who are part of central table agreements (which expire March 31, 2018), the general increase due on April 1, 2017, will be honoured. The same is true for the Standardization Fund and the Recruitment and Retention Fund. Some members have asked about items like pre-retirement leave, etc. All aspects of our collective agreements remain in full force and effect and cannot be altered except at the bargaining table.
The same is true for our members who are covered by what are known as non-central agreements. Aboriginal Health & Wellness Centre, Jocelyn House, Dynacare each have agreements that expire in 2018. Manitoba Clinic and Society for Manitobans with Disabilities have agreements in place until 2019. All terms and conditions, including general increases and yearly step increments will be honoured. Brandon Clinic and Winnipeg Clinic have agreements that are in the process of being renegotiated and those members will be made aware of any impact as we learn more at the bargaining table.
MAHCP remains opposed to any legislation that takes away our members rights to free and fair collective bargaining by dictating in advance the terms of any agreement.
What we know about Bill 28 and 29
The Pallister government tabled seven new pieces of legislation yesterday including Bill 28: The Public Services Sustainability Act and Bill 29: The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act.
According to a government press release, Bill 28 would:
- establish a rolling four-year sustainability period, beginning at the expiration of existing collective agreements, which establishes a framework for future increases to public sector compensation levels and fee payments for physicians that would set out limits on increases as follows:
- in the first two years of the sustainability period, unionized and non-unionized public sector employees receive no pay increase;
- in the third year, a maximum increase of 0.75 percent; and
- in the fourth year, a maximum increase of 1.0 percent.
- encourage employers and unions to jointly find ongoing cost savings which can be returned to Manitoba citizens
As for Bill 29, this same government press release states that this proposed legislation would include:
- appointing a commissioner to oversee bargaining unit restructuring;
- designating employers organizations to enable the streamlining of bargaining units within each region and in particular, within the Winnipeg health region, which currently has 113 bargaining units;
- reducing the number of bargaining units from 182 to less than 50 and set out relevant factors to be considered – beginning with operational efficiency and the promotion of health-care delivery – to ensure employees are grouped within the appropriate bargaining unit;
- enabling employees to choose which bargaining agent will represent them by requiring fair and democratic representation votes to be held where there is more than one union eligible;
- defining the appropriate bargaining units for each region and each provincewide health employer; nurses, physicians, medical residents, physician assistants and clinical assistants, professional/technical/paramedical employees, facility support employees and community support employees; and
- setting out a process for concluding a revised collective agreement
The Pallister government tabled these two bills on March 20 with the goal of having them proclaimed into law by the end of the current session, likely to end by June. If you have feedback on these two bills, we encourage you to contact your MLA and let him/her know your thoughts. You can search for your MLA here: http://www.electionsmanitoba.ca/en/Voting/MLA
We certainly have more questions on these bills that we will put to government to get the answers and keep our membership informed.
It is our goal – your MAHCP president, staff and executive – amidst this ever-changing political landscape in Manitoba, to ensure that our members can continue to deliver quality health care to all Manitobans by protecting your rights, your collective agreements, and the services you provide.
Bob Moroz, MAHCP President