January 31, 2022
Teachers to Bargain Provincially
The Manitoba government today proclaimed Bill 45 –The Public Schools Amendment and Manitoba Teachers’ Society Amendment Act, moving teachers to a system of provincial bargaining.
“The Society has supported a provincial bargaining model for more than a decade,” said MTS President James Bedford. “We are pleased to finally have clarity on the path forward.”
Under the current system of local bargaining, each of the 38 bargaining units negotiate separate collective agreements. With the proclamation of Bill 45, one collective agreement, negotiated at a central table, will cover all teachers except for those in the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM).
The DSFM and the local AEFM have a separate provision under Bill 45.
As it stands, all teachers remain covered under current collective agreements that expire on June 30, 2022. These agreements will remain in effect until a new provincial agreement is negotiated and ratified.
“Provincial bargaining is about moving teachers together as a whole,” said Bedford. “The expectation is that the best provisions from existing collective agreements will be the standard for the new contract.”
It is important to note that even though the negotiation of the new collective agreement will occur at a provincial table, its provisions will continue to be administered between each school division (in the role of the employer) and each local.
“We look forward to a meaningful collective bargaining process and the negotiation of fair terms and conditions of employment for the province’s 16,600 public school educators,” said Bedford.
Bill 45 FAQ
What is single tier provincial bargaining?
Currently, each of the 38 bargaining units negotiate separate collective agreements.
Single tier provincial bargaining means that teachers, except those in the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine (DSFM) will have one collective agreement.
What happens to DSFM and AEFM?
The DSFM and the local AEFM have a separate provision under Bill 45. Their collective agreement will remain in effect and the two parties will continue to bargain. We view the DSFM-AEFM table as a parallel francophone provincial table.
Am I still covered under a Collective Agreement?
Yes, your current collective agreement remains in effect until a new provincial collective agreement is negotiated and ratified. You are still entitled to all the salaries, rights, working conditions, and benefits that your local collective agreement provides.
Does my employer change?
No, your employer is still the school division in which you are employed.
Does this mean there will be amalgamations?
Bill 45 does not stipulate any amalgamation. However, future amalgamations are still possible.
Will my school division be bound by a new provincial agreement?
Yes, school divisions will be bound by whatever terms and conditions of employment are negotiated at the provincial table.
What aspects of Bill 45 are problematic for teachers?
Bill 45 interferes in the arbitration process because an arbitration board must take into consideration the ability to pay of the school division or school district, and the economic situation in Manitoba.