March 21, 2017
The Manitoba Teachers’ Society is reviewing provincial legislation that would impose a wage freeze on public school teachers when contracts come up for renegotiation next year.
MTS President Norm Gould has issued the following statement for MTS members:
Today the Progressive Conservative government introduced Bill 28, The Public Services Sustainability Act.
The Manitoba Teachers’ Society is extremely disappointed to see the government introduce heavy-handed legislation that would bypass the bargaining table and impose 4 years of wage freezes and wage caps for public sector workers – including teachers – well below the cost of living.
This will apply to the thousands of public sector workers, many who already have shown their willingness to be part of the solution, by agreeing – at the bargaining table – to two years of frozen wages.
We know that bargaining is the proven way to find solutions that work for both employers and workers. We’d much rather try to work things out together, by talking and negotiating at the bargaining table.
We have a strong and long history of bargaining fair negotiated settlements with our respective employer groups and this transgression that disrupts this well-established and successful process is shameful.
Bill 28 is further evidence that this government is fixated on balancing the budget at the expense of the public services so many families count on and the people who provide them.
This appalling legislation follows on the government’s uninformed dismantling of the cap on K-3 classroom size which was providing better learning outcomes for our schools and students. The K-3 Smaller Class Size Initiative resulted in the hiring of 454 new teachers, so its dismantling means that fewer teachers will be working on the front lines in Manitoba classrooms.
Bill 28 At A Glance:
• Bill 28 does not appear to open up existing collective agreements as the four year schedule is not fixed. Therefore Manitoba’s teachers wage freeze and cap will take effect July 1st, 2018;
• Bill 28 imposes a four-year wage scale that includes freezes and caps:
YEAR 1: 0
YEAR 2: 0
YEAR 3: 0.75 percent
YEAR 4: 1 percent
We are reviewing this legislation closely and we will provide you with information as it is received.
– Norman R. Gould, President, The Manitoba Teachers’ Society
See summary of Bill 28 by the law firm Myers Weinberg at: http://www.myersfirm.com/files/Public_Services_Sustainability_Act_-_Bill_28.pdf