Have Questions?

What you need to know about the big changes coming soon to our healthcare system.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us using the form below this section. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Or jump down to the Frequently Asked Questions

When did my contract expire?
  • The DSM contract at the Grace Hospital expired on March 31, 2018
  • The DSM contract at St. Boniface Hospital expired on March 31, 2017
  • The Grace Hospital contract expired on March 31, 2018
  • The NRHA contract expired on March 31, 2017
  • The St. Boniface contract expired on March 31, 2017
  • The WRHA Pharmacy Program contract expired on March 31, 2018
  • The WRHA Laundry contract expired on March 31, 2017
When are we bargaining?

We wish we knew. That’s up to the Pallister Government to decide. They’re keeping us in the dark while we wait to bargain. We want to get back to what we do best – working for you to bargain for the contract that you deserve – but the Pallister Government has called this vote to distract us and delay bargaining. We have been calling for the Government to come back to the bargaining table, but they refuse. No union can begin the bargaining process until the healthcare votes are complete.

When do we get a raise?

We can’t wait to bargain for your next contract. We have been asking the Pallister Government to quit playing games with our healthcare system and our jobs. It’s time to start bargaining so we can deliver better wages and benefits for you – but they refuse to come to the table.

When is the health care vote?

Again, we wish we knew. Not only is the Pallister Government trying to distract us with the union recertification vote, they’re keeping us in the dark about all the details.
So far the only thing the Pallister Government is telling us is that they want to amalgamate the unions. We keep asking but they haven’t told us when or how it will happen.

Why can’t we go on strike?

Until we start bargaining, your old contract is still in place. As long as that contract is in place we are not legally allowed to strike. But you can let your MLA know how you feel. Here’s a link to help you reach out to your MLA:   www.gov.mb.ca/legislature/members/mla_list_constituency.html

Why do I have to change unions?

The Pallister Government is playing games with your representation at work. They have decided they only want one union representing each bargaining unit. They don’t care that members already voted to decide which union they want to be in. They don’t care that the unions come together and bargain at one table. The Pallister Government is trying to drive a wedge between the unions and this is the best way they know how to do that. We know we’re stronger when we work together.

What is Bill 29?

What is Bill 29 and how does it affect me?

Bill 29 is now The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act.

You would have to ask the Pallister Government that question. We don’t know why they introduced an act that will cause needless chaos for healthcare workers. With no clear benefits to the province, our healthcare system or its workers, the Pallister Government is forcing workers to choose one union, even those who already belong to a union.

The Act will cut the number of bargaining units in each Regional Health Authority to seven. It will also replace all contracts with one single contract and a single union for each of the seven bargaining units for each profession. The Act will also force province-wide organizations – like Diagnostic Services Manitoba and CancerCare Manitoba – to only have one single contract and one single union each.

The seven agreements would cover each of these healthcare workers separately:

  • nurses
  • physicians,
  • medical residents
  • physician’s assistants
  • professional/technical/paramedic
  • facility support
  • community support

A commissioner appointed by the Pallister Government is running the vote and will finalize the construction of these bargaining units, and give written notice to employers and unions. UFCW Local 832 along with the other unions will get to make a presentation to the commissioner about how each bargaining unit should work.

Then all members will vote to determine which one union will represent each bargaining unit.
The successful union’s largest collective agreement would be the contract for all workers in the bargaining unit, meaning only one union will remain to represent all healthcare workers of that kind in each Regional Health Authority.

Who does the Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act effect?

For UFCW members, this means our members working at The St. Boniface Hospital, The Grace Hospital, DSM and those working in northern Manitoba in the NRHA. and WRHA Laundry

Commissioner Q&As

This is what the Commissioner’s office has to say about the act and the vote, in their own words:

When will the votes be conducted?

The votes cannot be scheduled until the conditions for successful votes are in place which I expect will be in the next few months. The plan is for the votes to be conducted in two phases:

  • Phase 1: votes for the bargaining units in the rural Regional Health Authorities (Northern, Southern Health-Sante, Interlake-Eastern and Prairie Mountain)
  • Phase 2: votes for the bargaining units in the WRHA and Shared Health
Why has this process taken so long?

The legislation became effective in May 2018 when I was appointed. Since then, a number of issues have been resolved by the hard work of the parties but more work remains to be done. The health field is large and complicated:

  • 6 employers organizations grouped together for labour relations purposes.
  • 13 unions that represent approximately 49,000 employees working in over 300 work locations and included in over 190 bargaining units each with its own collective agreement.
    • After implementation, there will be 36 bargaining units. Each of the 6 employers organizations will have between 5 and 7 bargaining units.
    • Over 1250 unionized classifications will be slotted into these new bargaining units by the unions and employers. Your classification will determine which bargaining unit you are in.
How will the votes be conducted?

In discussion with the unions and employers, an independent third party was selected to conduct the votes electronically. This will allow employees to vote from anywhere. If employees are on leave such as vacation or sick leave or not scheduled to work when the votes are being held, they will be able to vote by either logging in to a voting website or by using a touchtone phone. Detailed instructions will be provided later in the process.

In the past, some representation votes required that employees attend at a polling station on a particular day to vote in person. The expense and inconvenience of that approach will be eliminated. Similarly, by using this process, there will be no need for mail-in ballots.

What will I be voting on?

The ballot will contain a list of unions (in random order) that are eligible to be selected. Employees in a classification in that new bargaining unit will have the opportunity to vote for one of those unions. The union that receives the most votes will be the successful union. That union will be responsible for representing all employees in the new bargaining unit regardless of which union represented those employees before the vote.

To be clear, employees are only voting on the question of which union will represent them in the future. Your existing collective agreement and the pay, benefits, seniority and working conditions set by that agreement will continue to apply after the vote regardless of which union is successful. Those provisions will continue to apply until a new collective agreement is negotiated by the successful union.

No one from any union or employer can guarantee what will be in the new agreement or when it will be achieved.

Is the voting anonymous?

Yes. The voting process is completely anonymous. Unions, employers and their representatives will never know how anyone voted. The parties will know WHO voted but not HOW anyone voted. This is similar to government elections where parties are made aware of who voted but not how they voted.

When can collective bargaining begin?

Collective bargaining cannot begin until after the votes have been conducted and the successful union has been determined. How soon bargaining for a new collective agreement can begin after the votes will be up to the successful union and the employers organization. However, given the size and complexity of each new bargaining unit, preparing for bargaining will be a complicated process for both unions and employers.

How can I become "informed and involved"?

Getting informed can involve contacting unions to get information and to ask questions, attending meetings that unions may hold in your area and accessing the website that I will be introducing.

Getting involved will be easier than ever before. There will be a voting period during which employees can vote from anywhere by using any computer, smart phone or touchtone phone.

Finally, I would remind you that the unions and employers have committed to avoiding doing anything that would have a disruptive impact on services to patients and their families. As important as these votes are, it is also very important that the process does not become a distraction from everyone.s job responsibilities.

How am I involved in this process?

You can participate by .getting informed and getting involved.. Getting informed means asking questions and reviewing materials provided by the unions competing for your vote. Getting involved means voting for the union of your choice when the votes are held.

Does this process affect my status as a union member?

No. If you are in a union now, you will be in a union after this process. However, depending on the results of a vote, you may be represented by a different union.

How does this restructuring affect the collective agreement that covers me?

You will continue to be covered by your existing collective agreement (regardless of which union wins the vote) until a new collective agreement is negotiated for the new bargaining unit.

Is the vote confidential?

Absolutely. The voting process will be strictly confidential. No one from management or any union will know how you voted.

Who can I discuss my vote with?

You can discuss your vote with anyone you want. However, you don.t have to discuss it with anyone if you don.t want to.