Manitoba government argues it has power to freeze wages for unionized staff
WINNIPEG (CP) — The Manitoba government says its plan to put a two-year wage freeze on civil servants is constitutional and it is asking a judge to reject a request for an injunction against the move.
Lawyer Heather Leonoff says the Progressive Conservative government’s decision to impose the freeze falls within its powers to set its own policy.
Legislation mandates wage freezes for two years followed by a raise of 0.75 in the third year and one per cent in the fourth.
Leonoff says it doesn’t target specific unions, is time limited and still allows for bargaining and strikes.
On Tuesday, a lawyer for the unions representing some 110,000 public sector workers argued the legislation is a violation of the workers’ right to collective bargaining.
An injunction, if granted, would be temporary pending a full hearing on the unions’ challenge to the law under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.