To our members in the Manitoba Association of Government Engineers (MAGE) and Deer Lodge Centre (DLC) Groups,
The Professional Institute would like to reiterate its support for the Manitoba Federation of Labour’s (MFL) fight against anti-labour bills 28 (The Public Services Sustainability Act) and 29 (The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act), both of which represent a direct assault on workers’ rights in the province.
On May 8, 2017, the Institute will present its own submission to the Manitoba provincial government’s hearings into Bill 28.
Provincial and federal governments in Canada have a long and controversial history of resorting to legislation to impose wage restraints on their employees and to restrict their collective bargaining rights. Bill 28 is a particularly egregious example of this sort of legislation. The Supreme Court of Canada has made it clear that the process of collective bargaining is protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Institute urges the Manitoba government to carefully reconsider this proposed legislation in light of the constitutional principles laid down by the Supreme Court of Canada and applied by other Courts.
As for Bill 29, which aims to reduce the number of collective agreements in the public health care sector, fewer unions are not the solution to the problems facing the government. The democratic decisions that have already been made by health care workers about union representation should be respected.
We will keep you apprised of developments on these issues in the weeks ahead as developments occur.