CUPE Local 500 > News/Media > News Archive > Health Care Bargaining Update #8 - September, 2021

Health Care Bargaining Update #8 - September, 2021

September 10, 2021 at 11:06 AM

CUPE health care workers sent a strong message to the government with a province-wide average of 97% in favour of strike.  CUPE wants to thank all the members for their support!

With this strike mandate, we now have a strong message to deliver at the bargaining table: we will leave no health care worker behind!

The results by region are as follows:

  • ŸCUPE 204 and CUPE 500 (Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Shared Health) members voted 99% in favour of strike action.
  • ŸCUPE 8600 (Northern Regional Health Authority) members voted 98% in favour of strike action.
  • ŸCUPE 4270 (Southern Health-Santé Sud) members voted 92% in favour of strike action.

With the strong strike mandate, we are continuing to meet with the employer with the goal of finalizing a new collective agreement.  A strike will only occur if contract negotiations break down or reach an impasse.

The government agreed to give nurses special options, including the choice to have their contract settled by an arbitrator if negotiations break down rather than forcing a strike.  They refused to give health care support staff this option.  That was a big part of the reason we called for a strike mandate.

The government was planning to pass a law (Bill 16:  The Labour Relations Amendment Act) this fall that would make strikes last longer and new contracts harder to achieve.  Right now, after 60 days of a strike we can ask an arbitrator (like a judge) to step in and help settle a contract.  The government has announced Bill 16 will not be passed at this time.

One outstanding issue is that of how seniority will be applied.  Both CUPE and the Provincial Health Labour Relations Services (PHLRS) will present their positions regarding seniority to the Commissioner who is responsible for ongoing issues related to the health care amalgamations, including contracts.  He will act as a mediator to try and get resolution on this matter.  We hope that this will happen within the coming month.

Next bargaining dates are:

September 8th, 15th, 21st and 29th;
October 6th and 27th;
November 3rd, 10th and 17th;
December 1st.

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