Union Bug Blog
Oct 18, 2017 -
KPMG's Value-for-Money Report is an Exercise in Confusion
This week's long-awaited release of the KPMG value-for-money report provided the background for an important policy announcement from Manitoba's finance minister. Based on the report's recommendations, Finance Minister Cameron Friesen advised that his government will be eliminating 1,200 jobs from Manitoba's civil service.
Oct 13, 2017 -
Mr. Premier, do you really want our opinions?
On October 4, the government announced the 2017 Pre-budget Consultations with just a handful of dates across the province. Centres like Steinbach, Thompson and Portage La Prairie weren't included. It was also odd that the government chose to provide only one week’s notice before the first meeting and allotted just one hour for each consultation, leaving a very small window for the public to ask questions or offer feedback.
Oct 06, 2017 -
Make Mental Illness Awareness Week a Call to Action
Established in 1992 by the Canadian Psychiatric Association (and now coordinated by the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health), MIAW is an annual national public education campaign designed to help open the eyes of Canadians to the reality of mental illness.
Sep 28, 2017 -
What to Know About Our Right to Know
Today, countries around the world will mark September 28th as “Right to Know Day,” recognizing the need for greater transparency and access to government information. Here’s why we, as union members and public employees, should be paying attention.
Sep 26, 2017 -
Standing Up for a Fair Canadian Drug Plan
The Canadian Labour Congress recently launched a campaign designed to highlight the need for a national drug plan and demonstrate to Canadians the benefits of introducing one.
Sep 07, 2017 -
Cutting Taxes is Not the Answer
Last week I was chatting with my uncle, a retiree on a fixed income, about the health service cuts at the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. He said “if the deficit is $83 million, why doesn’t everyone just paid a bit more in taxes and then cuts would not be required?” With consideration for one’s ability to pay, why not indeed?
Aug 30, 2017 -
Private MRIs Are Moving Us in a Dangerous Direction
There is an adage: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. This certainly seems to be the case with Niverville’s recent announcement that the town hopes to partner with a private holding company and build a user-pay MRI clinic in the community.
Aug 25, 2017 -
PRPPs — a re-branding of our current, inadequate retirement saving “options”
The Manitoba Government recently announced it will make “Pooled Retirement Pension Plans (PRPPs)” available to Manitobans as another retirement savings option. Here’s why Manitobans planning for retirement should see this announcement as simply more of the same.
Jul 25, 2017 -
Fuzzy Math Drives Bill 28's Savings Assumptions
In March of 2017, the Premier claimed that for every one per cent the province lowered (or didn’t raise) wages for 120,000 provincial public sector workers, it would save $100 million. This simple calculation provides grist for Bill 28, The Public Services Sustainability Act which mandates all those who employ provincial public sector workers to hold future increases to zero per cent for the first two years of a new contract, no more than 0.75 per cent for the third year, and no more than 1.0 per cent for the fourth.
Jul 14, 2017 -
Social Impact Bonds: Putting Profit before People
Today, Manitobans access their social and public health services (think mental health and disability supports) and social services (think homeless or domestic abuse shelters; child welfare agencies) through: a) professionals and care providers who work directly for government, and b) professionals and care providers who work for non-profit community agencies.