The Professional Institute stands united with the Manitoba Federation of Labour and the Partnership to Defend Public Services in the fight against Bill 28, the Public Services Sustainability Act passed in late June by the Pallister government.

The Partnership filed an injunction earlier today challenging the constitutionality of the Act.

Bill 28 is a one-sided approach to a problem manufactured by the government in its 2017 Budget, and an unwarranted attack on public services and the professionals that deliver them.

In Budget 2017, the Government of Manitoba reduced spending, services and taxes. This is not an approach upon which governments can build public services that are sustainable, effective and of high quality.

Instead of creating a plan for the future, the government chose to use the Budget as a tool to drive an agenda of austerity. Wage freezes won’t result in better service delivery to Manitobans and they won’t miraculously deliver full coffers for the provincial government.

In doing so, the government is bypassing the collective bargaining process to meet its fiscal objectives and that is a serious problem.

Instead, the provincial government should sit down with its bargaining agents and work out real solutions to these issues, not try to take away workers’ existing rights.

The Institute currently represents approximately 340 engineers and health-care professionals employed by the Government of Manitoba.