What is single-tier provincial bargaining?
Currently, each of the 38 bargaining units negotiate separate collective agreements.
Single-tier provincial bargaining means that all teachers, except those in the DSFM, will have one collective agreement, negotiated at a central table.
The Manitoba Teachers’ Society would be the bargaining agent for all teachers while the minister of education would appoint the employer bargaining agent to represent divisions.
Provincial bargaining for teachers is the norm in the rest of Canada. Manitoba is the last province with a system of solely local bargaining.
What happens to DSFM?
The Division-scolaire franco-manitobaine will not be affected by any changes, given its unique minority French-language status and constitutional education management rights.
Is provincial bargaining good or bad?
The theory behind the provincial bargaining model is that, if followed as intended, this model ensures greater equity in salaries and working conditions across divisions. Across the province, there are currently variances in collective agreement language regarding items such as salaries, preparation time, extra-curricular activities and more.
Does MTS support provincial bargaining?
In 2011, bargaining principles and models for a single-tier and two-tier provincial bargaining system were adopted into MTS policy at Provincial Council.
MTS supports single-tier provincial bargaining, subject to the following conditions:
- Teachers remain governed under the Labour Relations Act.
- MTS will bargain directly with the Province of Manitoba (the funder).
- Bargaining must be fair and with an open scope.
- The mechanisms for dispute resolution, whether strike or interest arbitration, must be without limitation.
- The best provisions from existing collective agreements should be the standard for the new contract.
- The membership of MTS will remain, as it currently exists.
Are there concerns about the government’s provincial bargaining bill?
Yes. This bill incorporates the division’s ability to pay into the arbitration process, which impedes the neutrality of an arbitration board. This clause is cause for concern, as it is reminiscent of legislation enacted in the 1990s, which undermined teacher collective bargaining. A critical piece of a fair system of bargaining is an open, unbiased, independent arbitration process. Since arbitration is the only dispute resolution process available to teachers, it is imperative that this process remains virtuous.
Is my current agreement void?
Current collective agreements will remain in effect for the time being.
When does this bill come into effect?
This bill must first move through the legislative passage for bills, before being passed. Once the bill is passed, it will come into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation. This information will come at a later date.