Union Bug Blog
Feb 05, 2021 -
Privatizing snow-clearing contracts a big concern
The Department of Infrastructure has been undergoing a full review of services to determine what should be privatized, contracted out or sold off for well over a year. Last summer, the province auctioned off numerous plow trucks and other equipment typically operated by seasonal staff hired for winter road maintenance. In Ontario, safety was compromised in the pursuit of private profits. So why is the Pallister government going down this same risky path?
Dec 21, 2020 -
Premier’s Labour Legislation Changes Yet Another Attack on Working Manitobans
The Manitoba government is making amendments to labour legislation that will lead to more strikes and lockouts and prolong labour disputes in our province for years to come. Rather than supporting workers at this difficult time, the proposed changes significantly change collective bargaining rules in Manitoba and tip the scales against workers and unions.
May 01, 2020 -
Manitoba government’s austerity agenda makes it an outlier in Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the value of our public and social services, fair wages and benefits for all workers, of protecting our society's most vulnerable, and eliminating inequities. Now is the time to invest in them. But Manitoba has chosen a different path, one that makes the province an outlier in the country, and it is Manitobans who will unfortunately pay for this short-sightedness.
Apr 24, 2020 -
Now, more than ever, we must stand together
We have heard from many MGEU members and I know the stress and fear that so many are feeling right now. The Premier’s proposed service cuts and workforce reduction schemes have created much uncertainty and left hard working members feeling everything from anxiety to anger.
Apr 22, 2020 -
Work Life: Austerity, the economy and COVID-19...Manitoba Government creating, not solving problems
The lack of support and cuts [from the Manitoba Government] are in stark contrast to the way other provinces are responding. The Manitoba response is the opposite of what standard economic theory would suggest in a recession. Maintaining government employment and spending supports the overall “aggregate demand” for goods and services. This demand creates sales for businesses and supports jobs. Economists statistically quantify these effects with multipliers reflecting how $1 in spending in the economy leads to more than $1 in economic activity, because that spending is revenue for someone else, and in turn stimulates more spending/revenues, etc. The opposite is also true, with spending cuts having negative ripple effects throughout the economy. This is a big part of the reason the Government of Canada has come up with several programs to flow money to Canadians during this crisis.
Feb 20, 2020 -
What good is a balanced budget if you don’t have people working and paying taxes?
Louise Chernetz, a concerned Manitoban, attended the MGEU information picket at the Manitoba Legislature on February 19. She was dismayed to see the lack of respect that the Premier and several key cabinet ministers showed by refusing to take an information leaflet or even slow down to acknowledge the peaceful demonstrators – including those who work at the Dauphin Correctional Centre. In response, Louise sent the following letter to the Winnipeg Free Press expressing her disappointment. Here is her letter to Premier Pallister and his government.
Jan 31, 2020 -
Together we can send the message to stop cutting services, save our rural communities
After more than three difficult years, our rural communities are continuing to feel the effects of the Pallister Government’s cuts, closures and privatization schemes. But it doesn’t appear the pace of this government’s damaging cuts will be slowing any time soon.
Jan 09, 2020 -
Taking Stock of Manitoba's Social Housing Plan
The Manitoba government has made it quite clear– its intention is to greatly reduce its public housing portfolio and look to the private sector to fill the gap. Experiences elsewhere give housing advocates good reason to be concerned. In the absence of robust subsidies and income support, the private sector has demonstrated an inability to supply safe, well-maintained housing at the affordable threshold of less that 30 per cent of total before-tax household income. The reality that there are currently 7000 households on the Manitoba Housing waitlist reinforces the need for more social housing units.
Dec 23, 2019 -
Government making changes to pension rules
This fall, the Pallister government introduced legislation and talked about changes to how public pensions are managed. And while it’s not yet clear what all of these changes will look like or how they may impact pension plans, it’s important for MGEU members to know a little more about what’s happening.
Nov 18, 2019 -
Union-province showdown begins Monday
In this editorial published November 16, 2019 in the Winnipeg Free Press, MFL President, Kevin Rebeck, explains the background behind the Manitoba labour movement's challenge of Bill 28 (Public Services Sustainability Act).