Despite the concerns we have raised, the Pallister government has decided to proceed with cost-saving measures related to the COVID-19 crisis. 

On May 19, government officials indicated that all government employees would be subject to one of the following measures: 

  • They must take 5 unpaid days of leave before the end of the fiscal year, with no cuts to their benefits.
  • Or, if unpaid leave is rejected, the government will proceed with an undetermined number of layoffs. These layoffs would negatively affect benefits. 

The two scenarios are further explained in the letter from Brian Ellis, Assistant Deputy Minister

Your group’s negotiation team strongly opposes both options and has let the government know their approach is unacceptable. The fact remains that all unions are confronted with the same dilemma and must recommend one of the two options. 

According to our own calculations, if MAGE members had to take 5 days of unpaid leave, $300,000 will be cut. On the other hand, it is hard to evaluate how many colleagues would be laid off if $300,000 was cut from our salary. The government envisioned the layoffs to be temporary (approximately 4 months), but did not commit further on the numbers of engineers, departments or duration of these layoffs.

We have received the guarantee that no other measures will be considered to alleviate the financial difficulties caused by the current pandemic

Please help us communicate to the employer which option, in your opinion, is the lesser of the two evils. 

Send your preferred course of action to by Sunday, May 24 at 6:00 PM.