Manitoba government presents final offer

Only minor changes were made to previous deal

The 13,500 provincial civil servants in the province of Manitoba have been handed a second tentative agreement with a two-year wage freeze. They turned down the first one by 54 per cent to 46 per cent on January 21.

This is the province’s final offer to the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union. It contains the same wage freeze and the same increases in the final two years as the original offer. The only improvements were in job security for certain non-seasonal employees who do not have permanent status, mileage allowance and updating of dental fee guides.

In addition to these improvements, the contract would provide 2.75 per cent in the third and fourth years, a new 2.0 per cent long-service step at 20 years, improvements in vision care, drug and health spending account maximums. In addition, shift premiums, safety boot allowances and tool allowances are increasing.

While not happy with the agreement, the negotiating committee felt it was the best they could achieve. The committee cautioned members that arbitration would probably not achieve even what the final offer does, given the trends in public-sector awards in the province.

Manitoba corrections officers are also voting on a new collective agreement. It is the government’s final offer, as well, and it contains a 1.0 per cent increase on top of the master civil service increases in the third year, plus higher emergency response team premiums.

Voting on the civil service agreement winds up on March 11, 2011 and for the corrections agreement, March 1, 2011.

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