‘Ground-breaking’ contract for rural health-care workers
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The union for 6,000 health-care workers in Prairie Mountain and Interlake-Eastern health regions has reached a “ground-breaking” tentative agreement with their employers.
On Thursday, the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union bargaining units reached a deal for its members, who’ve been working in personal care homes, hospitals, and in the community, under expired contracts for years.
“In addition to a number of monetary improvements, the agreements contain groundbreaking provisions for home care workers including paid rest periods, evening and night premiums, maternity leave top-up, and a commitment to further negotiations in the very near future on the expansion of sick leave, health care benefits and pensions,” MGEU president Kyle Ross said in a news release Friday.
Employees, including health care aides, activity workers, dietary workers, laundry staff, maintenance workers, and clerical staff, have been without a contract since 2017.
Those who work in the community — home care workers and other direct service workers — have been working under an expired contract since 2018.
Bargaining had been delayed for a number of reasons, including challenges related to the pandemic, the provincial government’s public-sector wage freeze legislation that has since been rescinded, and government-imposed union representation votes, the MGEU said.
Details of the agreement will be shared with the unionized workers, who will have an opportunity to review and discuss changes at information sessions prior to a ratification vote.
In-person information meetings and a virtual session for each bargaining unit will be held in the next two weeks, MGEU said.
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.