The Franco-Manitoban School Division (DSFM) maintains its existing bargaining system separate from the provincial framework with respect to its constitutional rights to the management of education. “Individual negotiations pose several challenges for the school`s administration and management, including significant differences in agreements and an inefficient negotiation process that is repeated 38 times,” Goertzen said. “This bill will reduce differences between departments and ultimately mean more teaching time than negotiation, which means better outcomes for students.” “Manitoba is the only province in Canada where public teacher negotiations are still conducted exclusively at the local level,” said Goertzen. “There are currently 38 separate collective agreements that are negotiated directly between school leaders and their teacher associations. This bill will bring teachers` agreements in line with and reduce duplication of several separate agreements. In Canada, public sector class disputes can be resolved through interest arbitration, particularly in situations where there is no legal right to strike or lockout. Each province may decide that an interest rate arbitration procedure, in accordance with existing public sector legislation, will have a legal status. For example, collective bargaining between the provincial police and firefighters may provide for arbitration in place of the right to strike. “The impact on the collective bargaining process is significant and we will fully consider our options, including appeal considerations.” A Queen`s court ruled that the government had wrongly rejected the Manitoba government`s request for a settlement of the decision and the General Union of Employees on behalf of more than 11,000 government employees. The Manitoba Court of Queen`s Bench ordered the government to appoint an arbitration body in accordance with the law.
The procedure provides that each party appoints its candidate to the board of directors and that the nominees jointly nominate the president or, in the absence of agreement, appoint the president. The union informed the court that it had asked the government if it was prepared to review the wage increases despite the law and that it had never received a direct response. The bill, after two years of wage stoppage, when each new collective agreement is reached, also limits increases to 0.75 per cent in the third year and one per cent to the fourth year. The government had already passed a bill imposing two years of wage setting for new collective agreements in the public sector, but it had not been enshrined in law. The last collective agreement expired in March 2019 and the two sides met briefly the following month to begin negotiations for a new agreement. The Manitoba government is advancing unified collective bargaining projects between all school departments and their teachers through the proposed public school amendment and the Manitoba Teachers` Society`s amendment law, Education Minister Kelvin Goertzen announced on November 2. The bill would not have an impact on collective agreements if the legislation came into force. As existing collective agreements expire, school departments and teachers` associations would be part of the provincial contract. The Manitoba Teachers` Society (MTS) would be the teachers` bargaining partner, while the Minister of Education would designate the employer`s bargaining partner to represent the school departments. A recently closed court proceeding in Manitoba resolved a Manitoba law issue that provided for an interest rate arbitration procedure (Manitoba Government and General Employees` Union and Minister of Finance for the Government of Manitoba 2020MBQB 68).