Letter to Minister Goertzen

CUPE 204 sent a letter to Kelvin Goertzen, Minister of Health introducing our new CUPE Health Care Union, and calling for a meeting to discuss CUPE 204 and our concerns with the government's direction with health care.

SENT VIA EMAIL: [email protected]
February 15, 2018

The Honourable Kelvin Goertzen

Dear Minister:


On behalf of the 7,000 health care workers represented by CUPE Local 204, I would like to request a meeting to discuss our newly formed health care union local and how we can work together to improve patient and worker experiences in the health care system.

CUPE 204 was officially launched on January 31st. It is the result of votes by health care workers at 21 individual CUPE units at 20 health care facilities to merge into one health care union.

Local 204 is a strong, united voice that has the resources and ability to address workplace issues, including health and safety concerns, human resources issues, workplace grievances, and, of course, negotiate a strong collective agreement that supports health care workers and thereby the health care system as a whole.

CUPE 204 was certified in November 2017 by the Manitoba Labour Board with no opposition from the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) employer group.

We would like to discuss with you the initiative we took to help achieve your goal of reducing the number of collective agreements and bargaining units in health care. You have indicated that your objective is to reduce the number of collective bargaining units in health care from 183 to 7.

The creation of CUPE Local 204 represents the replacement of bargaining units for workers at 20 health care facilities with a single collective agreement. This amounts to an 11% reduction in the number of health care bargaining units in Manitoba. We have done this with no cost to government and without disruption to the health care system, and on our terms.

By merging 20 CUPE health care sites into one, we have made clear our willingness to work with you to prevent unnecessary representation votes that would further disrupt health care and reduce morale at a time when morale is already low.

On May 8, 2017, CUPE, along with the Manitoba Federation of Labour and other health care unions, presented to the provincial government on Bill 29. We all indicated our willingness to work with government to develop an alternative model for collective bargaining in health care that would include union bargaining councils and employer bargaining councils.

We hope you will be willing to meet with us at your earliest convenience to discuss further.


cc: CUPE Local 204 Table Officers