The largest group of members of the Manitoba Association of Health Professionals (MAHCP/CHPS) – the Central Table Bargaining Unit – is currently negotiating with the Province of Manitoba for a collective agreement. This unit includes employees from several major hospitals and clinics in Winnipeg and northern Manitoba communities. Existing collective agreements for workers close to workers continue to apply, regardless of which union wins the vote. Wages, benefits, seniority and other working conditions set out in their existing collective agreement apply to workers after the vote. All but one certificate from the Manitoba Association of Health Professionals (MAHCP) – Winnipeg Regional Health Authority`s corporate programs – have voted to accept the provincial collective agreement offer in the past two weeks. Bob Moroz, president of MAHCP, said the high turnout for online votes and meetings indicates that members are dissatisfied with the long time it took to negotiate a new treaty. Those covered by the agreement on the central table have been out of contract since March 2014. Existing agreements remain in force until the successful union and the employers` organization negotiate a new collective agreement. No one from a union or employer can guarantee what this collective agreement will contain or when an agreement is reached.
A certificate is a subgroup of the Central Table Bargaining Unit, which usually consists of a group of people working in the same institution. Each certificate may accept or refuse a proposed collective agreement, regardless of what members of other certificates decide. In Manitoba, approximately 49,000 unionized health care workers work at more than 300 sites. They are included in more than 190 tariff units and are covered by the same number of individual collective agreements. There are 13 unions and several employers involved in the negotiation and management of these collective agreements. The Health Tariff Unit Review Act aims to simplify this structure. Lee Manning, executive director and Lead Negotiator of MAHCP, said the negotiating committee was working to get back to the table and reach a fair agreement. “While these are not the results we hoped for, our union continues to be committed to providing the highest level of service to members,” said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the MGEU. “For the members who will be leaving our union, we are disappointed to say goodbye. And we warmly thank the activists of these groups for their dedication and service to members. For example, the “diet” classification is included in the new bargaining unit for ease support, while the “health aid” classification is included in the “Community Support” bargaining unit.