Manitoba Civil Service Collective Agreement

In Canada, collective disputes in the public sector can be resolved through arbitrations of interest, particularly in situations where there is no legal right to strike or lockout. Each province may decide that an interest rate arbitration procedure, in accordance with existing public sector legislation, will have a legal status. For example, collective bargaining between the provincial police and firefighters may provide for arbitration of interest in place of the right to strike. “The impact on the collective bargaining process is significant and we will fully consider our options, including appeal considerations.” A Queen`s Bench Court ruled that the government wrongly denied the Manitoba government`s request for a clean-up of the decision and the General Employees Union on behalf of more than 11,000 public servants. The Manitoba Court of Queen`s Bench has instructed the government to appoint an arbitration body in accordance with the law. The procedure provides that each party appoints its candidate to the board of directors and that the nominees jointly nominate the president or, in the absence of agreement, appoints the president. The union told the court that it had asked the government if it was willing to review the pay increases in spite of the law and that it had never received a direct response. The bill, after two years of wage stoppage, when each new collective agreement is reached, also limits increases to 0.75 per cent in the third year and one per cent to the fourth year. The government had already passed a bill imposing a two-year pay stoppage for new public sector collective agreements, but it had not enshrined in law. The last collective agreement expired in March 2019 and the two sides met briefly the following month to begin negotiations for a new agreement.

A recent legal proceeding in Manitoba resolved a question on Manitoba`s legislation that provided for an interest rate arbitration procedure (Manitoba Government and General Employees` Union and Minister of Finance for the Government of Manitoba 2020MBQB 68). The Manitoba Civil Service Act stipulated that the union could ask the Minister of Finance to appoint an arbitration body, as negotiations began, but no agreement was reached because of negotiation difficulties. In this case, the collective agreement had expired and the parties began negotiating collective agreements by exchanging proposals and meeting for two days of negotiations. The Manitoba government and the General Workers` Union (GSO) argued that the circumstances were different during this round of negotiations, given that the government recently passed the Public Service Sustainability Act in the legislature, which limited public service wage increases to a maximum of 0%. , 0%, 0%, 0.75% and 1% per year for the 4-year period. In addition, the MGEU submitted that the government would not say whether rates of pay above the statutory maximum could be negotiated and that there would therefore be no free collective bargaining. However, the Minister of Finance had rejected a request by the Union for the creation of an arbitration body. The Wage Limitation Act was passed during the legislature, but has not yet come into force. The proclamation process was an administrative function that the government could implement at any time.

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