Bill 29 deals with bargaining units and collective bargaining in Manitoba's health sector. The aim of Bill 29 is to establish a fixed number of bargaining units for each health region and each province-wide health employer such as CancerCare Manitoba and Diagnostic Services of Manitoba Inc. This bill will affect the structure of Manitoba health care.
In order to help facilitate the workings of Bill 29, a commissioner has been appointed to determine the composition of the bargaining units. To put it simply, if a bargaining unit consists of employees represented by more than one union, the commissioner will conduct a representation vote of employees for the purpose of selecting a single bargaining agent.
Once a bargaining agent is selected, the Bill states that a collective agreement governing the most employees in the bargaining unit to which that bargaining agent is a party, will become the basis for negotiating a new collective agreement governing all employees in the unit.
For the sole purpose of collective bargaining, Bill 29 establishes an employer’s organization for each health region. It requires the minister to appoint one or more representatives to bargain on behalf of those organizations, and on behalf of the province-wide health employers.
The commissioner will have authority to make the decisions necessary to implement the new bargaining framework.
As of November 2018, Bill 29 has passed first, second and third reading, was given Royal Assent and then announced on May 10, 2018. It is now law in Manitoba.
The Pallister government appointed a commissioner, Robert Pruden, also in May of 2018 to oversee Bill 29’s expected 18-month implementation process.
MAHCP has been included in meetings with government officials and other health care unions to discuss the details of Bill 29 and the outcomes it could have on Manitoba health care and workers alike.
With many questions still left unanswered, MAHCP’s President Bob Moroz and Executive Director Lee Manning continue to pursue information in order to better inform their members and the public. Dates for the expected representation votes have not yet been decided, but are likely to take place before the end of Commissioner Pruden’s 18-month implementation process in 2019.