After well over a year at the bargaining table, Manitoba’s 14,000 civil service members are set to vote on a tentative agreement with the province.
The five year deal between the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union (MGEU) and the Manitoba Government itself was reached late in December.
It includes 1 per cent retroactive wage increases, and not the 2 per cent increases they had been bargaining for, in 2014 and 2015. However, 2 per cent wage increases are on tap for the final three years.
The two sides have been at the table since March 2014. MGEU President, Michelle Gawronsky believes wage increases was one of the main issues that caused talks to drag on for so long. The bargaining committee even filed for arbitration back in July because Civil Service members were not offered an increase. The committee pointed to many other comparable public service settlements that included 2 per cent increases in each year over four years.
“(The members) are disappointed that there are still one per cents in the deal,” said Gawronsky. “They are recognizing that a fifth year in there with a no layoff clause is important and it’s helpful to them.”
If the offer is rejected, the Committee will proceed to arbitration scheduled to begin in late May and last into the fall.
“We want the members to take a look at what the government has offered them and let the members decide whether they want to except this deal, get their retroactive pay or do they want to wait and go to arbitration” said Gawronsky.
Voting will take place in locations across the province in the last two weeks of January and through a mail-in ballot. They will begin counting votes on January 27.
— MGEU (@MGEUnion) October 28, 2015