Have a question about the upcoming health care votes – join the MGEU Tele-meeting

Feb 19, 2019

On Wednesday, February 27 the MGEU is hosting two tele-meetings for workers in Community Support and Facility Support to learn about the upcoming health representation votes and answer some of the key questions many health workers have been asking.

Another two MGEU tele-meetings for those working in Professional- Technical and Paramedical jobs will be held on March 20th.

The MGEU will email out to all health care workers within these affected groups the day before their respective tele-meetings. On the day of the tele-meetings, those involved in the upcoming votes will receive a phone call a few minutes before it begins. Those interested in participating, simply stay on the line to join the tele-meeting or use a computer or mobile device to listen in online.

Listen Online

February 27, 2019 - Facility Support and Community Support
1. 1pm - 2pm or
2. 6pm - 7pm

March 20, 2019 - Professional-Technical / Paramedical
1. 2pm - 3pm or
2. 6pm - 7pm

MGEU members can ensure the union has current contact information on file by updating online before February 22nd for those in Facility and Community Support, and by March 15th for those in Technical-Professional/Paramedical.

Everyone involved in the upcoming health care union representation votes is welcome to participate in the tele-meetings, no matter which union they currently belong to!

If you don’t get the call, or aren’t currently an MGEU member, you can still participate by phoning 1-877-229-8493 during either tele-meeting that day and use ID: 116895# to join in.


When will votes take place?

It’s expected that voting will happen in the next few months, based on what we’ve been told by the Commissioner in charge of these votes.

Four weeks notice will be provided before campaigning and voting begins. The plan is to hold the votes in two phases:

Phase 1- will be voting for the bargaining units in the rural Regional Health Authorities (Northern, Southern Health-Sante, Interlake-Eastern and Prairie Mountain). There will be a four week campaign period in this phase followed by a one week voting period.

Phase 2 - begins immediately following Phase 1 and involves votes for the bargaining units in the WRHA and Shared Health. There will also be a four week campaign period in this phase, followed by a one week voting period.

This means that once the votes are called by the Commissioner, the entire process will take about 14 weeks to complete.

Why is this taking so long?

The government’s legislation came into effect in May 2018, when the Commissioner was appointed. Since then, the Commissioner, six employers, and the 13 unions involved, have had to talk through a number of issues, including bargaining units and voting processes. All of these issues have to be addressed before voting can begin.

Will voting be anonymous?

Yes. The Commissioner has assured us that the voting process “will be completely anonymous.” For voting security, it will be known WHO voted, but not HOW anyone voted — a similar practice to other types of elections.

How will people be able to vote?

The Commissioner, in discussion with unions and employers, has chosen an independent third party to conduct the votes electronically. That means health care workers will cast their vote during a specified voting period using a computer, mobile device, or touch-tone phone. The MGEU had many questions about the process to ensure its security for members. Detailed instructions will be provided to health care workers, who can choose to vote by either logging in to a website or by using a touch-tone phone. The Commissioner has said there will be no mail-in ballots.

Are workers voting to choose a contract?

No. The Commissioner says that workers are only voting on which union will represent them and negotiate on their behalf. He specifically has said that workers are not voting to choose a collective agreement and no union can guarantee workers what will be in the new contract.

The ballot will contain a list of eligible unions (in random order) and workers will be asked to choose one. Whoever receives the most votes will be the successful union and will be responsible for representing all employees in the new bargaining unit, regardless of which union represented those members before the vote.

Existing contracts will continue to apply until a new one is negotiated by the successful union.

When can collective bargaining begin?

Once votes are finished and the successful union is chosen, collective bargaining can begin. How soon that happens after the votes will be up to the successful union and the employer. Some new bargaining units will include many existing collective agreements, which means bargaining could be a complicated, time-intensive process in some cases.

How to learn more about these votes?

Stay on the line when the MGEU calls on February 27 or March 20th.

It’s also good to note that the Commissioner is developing a website to provide information about the votes for health care workers. When the website is available, the MGEU will share the link with health care workers.

Contact the MGEU Resource Centre for more information about the upcoming tele-meetings at 204-982-6438 (1-866-982-6438 toll free).

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