Bill 28 is the Public Services Sustainability Act. It calls for public sector workers to have their wages frozen for two years, followed by a modest 0.75 per cent increment in year-3 with up to full one per cent increase in the fourth year.
Assuming inflation continues to increase by a rate of two per cent, the net effect of this loss to purchasing power will be compounded year-over-year to the tune of 6.2 per cent at the end of the legislated wage pause. For an average teacher across this province, this translates to approximately a $15,464 loss to every single teacher.
The Pallister government claims that the wage freeze is necessary to get Manitoba’s fiscal house in order, stating repeatedly that it will take “all hands on deck” to tackle the deficit.
Since January 2017, Manitoba’s public-sector unions have put forward practical solutions that would generate government revenue and negate the need for government to freeze wages and cut the services Manitobans count on.
However these solutions were ignored and the government chose to introduce this heavy-handed legislation that undermines the collective bargaining process.
In response, Manitoba’s public-sector unions have come together to create a Partnership to Defend Public Services (PDPS). The Manitoba Teachers’ Society is proud to add its name to the list of 26 other unions who combined represent over 120,000 public-sector workers.
In June, Bill 28 was passed, however the Pallister government chose not proclaim the legislation. Regardless of when the act is proclaimed, the impact of the government’s new law is already being felt at the bargaining table, so on July 4th, the Partnership to Defend Public Services launched a legal challenge.
Why A Legal Challenge?
Bill 28 shows blatant disregard for the collective bargaining rights of the workers who provide public services to all Manitobans. As recently as November 2016, collective bargaining has been affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada as a charter right. Not only is Bill 28 unfair, but it is unconstitutional.
This legal challenge will be long and the process will be slow. However it is necessary for MTS to stand with other unions against Bill 28 so that we are united in pushing back against attacks on the rights of working people in Manitoba and the government’s plans to cut the services our friends and families count on.
|Mar 20, 2017||Apr 24, 2017||May 9, 2017||June 1, 2017||June 2, 2017||Not Proclaimed|