Where and how to vote

On May 10th, the Pallister Government proclaimed a new law (Bill 29: The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act) that could change the union that represents you and the collective agreement that protects you.  Things you have fought for – like working day vacations – are now potentially in jeopardy.

With a Commissioner (Bob Pruden) now appointed by the government, some time in the next year there will be a vote on which union and collective agreement will apply to you.

Unfortunately, the government has not yet provided details about when or how these votes will happen.

Once additional information is available, it will be posted here.

For now, you can find out what’s at stake for health support workers and technical and professional workers.

More about Bill 29

Last year, the Manitoba Government introduced Bill 29, The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act, which will dramatically change labour relations in the health care sector. These changes will affect union members working in health care.

Bill 29 will reduce the number of bargaining units to seven in each of the five health regions.

Specifically, the new law will force each of the following groups of workers in each health region to have just one collective agreement and be represented by a single union:

(1) Professional-Technical/EMS workers
(2) Facility Support workers
(3) Community Support workers
(4) Nurses
(5) Doctors
(6) Medical Residents
(7) Physician Assistants and Clinical Assistants

What this means for you:

1) Where there is more than one union and one collective agreement for a similar group of workers (sector) in a health region, Bill 29 will require that representation votes are held. Workers in each group will vote for the union they want to represent them. 

Facility Support workers at various WRHA sites currently have separate collective agreements administered by a variety of different unions. These workers will now be required to have one union and one collective agreement per sector within the WRHA/employer .

For those who will work for province-wide employers, like Shared Health and CancerCare Manitoba, these votes will be held on a province-wide basis, not by region.

Professional/Technical/Paramedical  workers from all regions who will work at Shared Health (which includes the former Diagnostic Services of Manitoba) will be required to have one union and one collective agreement, province-wide.

2) When workers vote for a union, they are also voting for a collective agreement. After the vote, the successful union’s collective agreement covering the most workers in that group will become the agreement for all workers in that group, and negotiations going forward will be based on this collective agreement.

If Facility Support workers in Winnipeg choose MGEU as their union, then the MGEU’s collective agreement (with working day vacations and amongst the lowest dues), will become the collective agreement for all Facility Support workers.