More than 6,000 health-care workers in Manitoba could walk off the job if a new deal isn’t reached by June 15, which could cause massive delays or cancellations for patients.
The Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals issued a strike deadline for its members who have been without a contract for more than five years, a press release from the organization said.
The union’s 6,500 members voted 99 per cent in favour of a strike.
If a new deal isn’t inked by June 15, the province could see lower-priority surgeries and procedures, lab results and other services put on the back burner or cancelled altogether.
MAHCP said it will keep a minimum level of staff available for essential services.
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Shared Health called the announcement “surprising” as an agreement in principal was reached between the two entities after days of negotiations.
“We remain fully committed to the ongoing intensive mediation process. Both sides have agreed to a series of additional mediation dates and we look forward to finalizing the same type of resolution already reached with all of our other valued health-care workers,” a release from Shared Health says.
Preliminary negotiations began in March to discuss wages, which have been frozen since 2017 and no longer align with other provinces, the release from MAHCP said.
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“We continue to lose highly specialized allied health professionals to other sectors and other provinces that are way ahead of us in wages and benefits,” MAHCP President Jason Linklater said in the release.
“Manitoba has to start fixing this by giving them a reason to stay.”
The province has some 200 sites that employ MAHCP members. The organization claims the length in which the allied workers have been without a contract is the longest of any health-care sector in Canada.
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