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Amendments to be in Effect for Upcoming Bargaining Session: Ewasko

The Manitoba government is amending the Public Schools Act and the Manitoba Teachers’ Society Act to create a single provincial bargaining table for public school teachers, Education and Early Childhood Learning Minister Wayne Ewasko announced today.

“We want all public school teachers across Manitoba to have access to the same bargaining process, especially with agreements expiring this spring,” said Ewasko. “This new legislation aligns with our department’s commitment to strengthen and improve the education system in Manitoba.”

The legislative amendments create a streamlined bargaining framework where all items are negotiated at a central table between the Manitoba Teachers’ Society (MTS) on behalf of all teachers’ associations and the employer bargaining representative on behalf of the employers’ organization.

“The MSBA looks forward to promoting the interests of our school board members so that, together, we can continue to ensure working conditions are effective and sustainable,” said Alan M. Campbell, president, Manitoba School Boards Association. “At the same time, we value Manitoba’s locally responsive education system for students across Manitoba’s diverse communities and will continue to advocate that this principle guides and informs future bargaining efforts.”

The minister noted the provincial bargaining framework applies to all school divisions with the exception of the Division scolaire franco-manitobaine, given their constitutional management rights.

These amendments move away from the previous process, which saw collective agreements bargained separately by each of the 38 school divisions and teachers’ associations. Manitoba was previously the only province where public teacher bargaining was done exclusively at the local level.

“The society has supported a provincial bargaining model for more than a decade,” said James Bedford, president, MTS. “We are pleased to finally have clarity on the path forward. We look forward to a meaningful collective bargaining process and the negotiation of fair terms and conditions of employment for the province’s 16,600 public school educators.”

All school divisions currently have agreements in place with their teachers and clinicians until June 30. The new provincial bargaining framework will be in place for the next round of bargaining, which could begin as early as spring 2022.

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