MGEU/NUPGE works to rectify members' issues after employers violate collective agreements.
Winnipeg (22 May 2019) — Community support members of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) in Southern Health and Prairie Mountain Health will have a little more money in their pockets this month thanks to 2 big grievance wins.
“Downtime” deserves premium
In the fall of 2015, the Southern Regional Health Authority (RHA) stopped paying weekend premiums on any equivilent full-time (EFT) downtime hours. This meant that if a member worked an 8-hour shift, but had 2 hours of unassigned time within their schedule — often used for travel or to catch up with tasks — they were not paid the premium on those hours.
The MGEU/NUPGE immediately challenged this move at Labour Management meetings, and eventually, the employer backed down and agreed to resume paying the premiums. However, this did not address the issue of retroactive pay for the period when the stoppage occurred.
While the union argued for the members to receive the lost payment of weekend premiums, the employer dragged their feet, saying that the Provincial Health Labour Relations Secretariat would not agree to any retroactive pay.
The MGEU/NUPGE filed a formal grievance, at which time the employer finally agreed to rectify the error and provide retroactive payment for all weekend premiums missed. All MGEU/NUPGE members currently working for the Southern RHA and impacted by the missing premiums have received their retroactive payment. Those members no longer working for the Southern RHA have a 60-day period to request their payment and are encouraged to contact the employer.
Change in mileage calculation reversed
The Prairie Mountain RHA recently attempted to change the way mileage is calculated for MGEU/NUPGE workers working in home care — instead of starting to clock mileage from their home on first/last work assignments, they were told to start clocking at certain “boundaries.”
The MGEU/NUPGE made it clear to the employer that this change was a breach of the collective agreement. After the employer refused to back down, the union filed a grievance.
When MGEU/NUPGE's legal experts filed for expedited arbitration at the Labour Board, the employer finally responded and agreed to resume the former practice of clocking mileage from members’ homes.
The employer also agreed to pay members retroactively for all lost mileage payments during the change. The hundreds of members that have been impacted will be getting a very significant retroactive payment as a result of the union’s grievance.