Frequently Asked Questions

Why are representation votes being held?


Health care employees in Manitoba are currently included in over 190 bargaining units and represented by 13 different unions. The Health Sector Bargaining Unit Review Act reduces the number of bargaining units to 36. ​ The new bargaining units include workers who are currently in various bargaining units and represented by different unions (in some cases, up to 8 unions). The voting process allows workers in each new bargaining unit to determine which union will represent them in the future. Of the 36 new bargaining units, 18 representation votes are required. (See List of Required Votes in the "Resources" section of this website.) In some cases, only one union was eligible and therefore a representation vote is not necessary. Representation votes are not required in the following bargaining units: Physicians, Medical Residents, Physician Assistants and Clinical Assistants, Nurses (Interlake-Eastern, Northern, Prairie Mountain) and Professional/Technical/Paramedical (Northern, Prairie Mountain, Southern).




What will employees be voting on?


The ballot will contain a list of unions (in random order) that are eligible to be selected. Employees in the classifications that have been slotted into that new bargaining unit will have the opportunity to vote for one of those unions. The union that receives the most votes will be the successful union. That union will be responsible for representing all employees in the new bargaining unit regardless of which union represented those employees before the vote.

To be clear, employees are only voting on the question of which union will represent them in the future. They are not voting on which collective agreement they will be covered by. After the vote, each employees' existing collective agreement and its provisions regarding pay, benefits, seniority, etc., will continue to apply to that employee until a new collective agreement is negotiated with the Employers Organization.

No one from any union or employer can guarantee what will be in the new agreement or when it will be achieved.




How will the representation votes be conducted?


In consultation with the unions and employers, an independent third party, MNP LLP, was selected to conduct the votes electronically. Employees will be able to vote online or by touchtone telephone, in English or French. Before the Voting Period begins, MNP will provide employees who are eligble to vote with detailed voting instructions and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access the voting system. It is anticipated that this information will be delivered to employees' home addresses between July 24 and August 6, 2019. Employees who have not received this information by August 6 should contact the Voter Help Desk which will open on July 30, 2019. Employees will be able to contact the Help Desk with any questions regarding the voting process at 1-888-281-8683.




When will the representation votes be conducted?


The Voting Period will begin at 12:00 noon on August 8 and end at 12:00 noon on August 22, 2019. During the Voting Period, employees will be able to vote 24 hours a day in English or French with the use of an internet enabled device (computer, tablet, smart phone) or by touchtone phone.




Is the voting anonymous?


Yes. The voting process is completely anonymous. Unions, employers and their representatives will never know how anyone voted. The unions will know which employees have voted but NOT which union they voted for. This is similar to government elections where parties are made aware of who voted but not how they voted.




Does this process affect an employee’s status as a union member?


No. If an employee is in a union now, that employee will be in a union after this process. However, depending on the results of a vote, the employee may be represented by a different union.




How can I get more information to help me make a decision regarding my vote?


The "Union Contacts" section of this website lists the contact information for most unions involved in the representation votes. You are encouraged to contact unions directly and check their websites to ask questions and get more information.




When can collective bargaining begin?


Collective bargaining cannot begin until after the votes have been conducted and the successful union has been determined. How soon bargaining for a new collective agreement can begin after the votes will be up to the successful union and the employers organization. However, given the size and complexity of each new bargaining unit, preparing for bargaining will be a complicated process for both unions and employers.




How do I find out which representation vote(s) I am eligible to participate in?


Employees who are eligible to vote will receive a Direct Mail-out package containing a letter from the Commissioner and information from the unions that opted to participate in the Direct Mail-out. It is anticipated that these packages will be delivered to employees' home addresses between July 9 and July 19, 2019. The Commissioner's letter will indicate which representation vote(s) you are eligilble to participate in as of that date. If your employment status changes, it may impact your eligibility to vote. If you do not receive a package and you believe you are eligible to vote, please contact your union or manager.




Who is responsible for the voting system?


MNP has been contracted by the Commissioner to ensure the independence and integrity of the representation votes. MNP is working with Intelivote to provide the electronic voting system and voter support to ensure fair and unbiased results.




I work in more than one position. How many representation votes can I participate in?


You are only allowed to vote once in a particular representation vote regardless of whether you hold two or more positions in that bargaining unit. However, if you are employed in two positions in two different bargaining units (e.g. Community Support and Facility Support), you are eligible to participate in the representation votes for both bargaining units. Similarly, if you work in two positions in two different Employers Organizations (e.g. Shared Health Employers Organization and Winnipeg-Churchill Health Region Employers Organization), you are eligible to participate in the representation votes for both Employers Organizations.




How can I find out which bargaining unit my classification has been assigned to?


The Finalization of Provincial Classification Slotting document (located in the "Resources" section of this website) shows the bargaining unit of each classification. An even quicker method for most employees is to review the following classification groupings that cover over 80% of the employees who are participating in the representation votes: Community Support bargaining unit includes: Home Care Attendants, Health Care Aides, Activity Aides, Recreation Aides, Mental Health Proctors, Rehabilitation Assistants, Patient Porters, Crisis Workers. Facility Support bargaining unit includes: Dietary Aides, Housekeeping Aides, Laundry Aides, Clerical and Secretarial staff, Instrument & Sterile Processing Technicians, Home Support Workers, Carpenters, Plumbers & Electricians, Material, Laundry & Housekeeping Porters. Professional/Technical/Paramedical bargaining unit includes: Medical Lab Assistants, Lab Technologists, EMS Paramedic Technicians, Diagnostic Imagining Technologists, Pharmacists & Pharmacy Assistants, Occupational Therapists & Physiotherapists, Social Workers and Dieticians. Nurses bargaininig unit includes all nursing classifications.




How can I find out which of the six Employers Organizations my employer is in?


The legislation establishes six Employers Organizations for the sole purpose of collective bargaining. They are: Northern Health Region Employers Organization, Interlake-Eastern Health Region Employers Organization, Prairie Mountain Health Region Employers Organization, Shared Health Employers Organization, Southern Health Employers Organization, Winnipeg-Churchill Health Region Employers Organization. The list of Health Employers Organizations (located in the "Resources" section of this website) notes the employers which fall within each of the Employers Organizations. You can also ask your manager or union to confirm which Employers Organization your employer is in.




How can I contact the Voter Help Desk?


The Voter Help Desk can be reached by phoning: 1-888-281-8683 (toll free). The Help Desk opens on Tuesday, July 30 at 9:00 am. The hours of operation for the Help Desk are: Monday to Friday - July 30 to August 21 - 9:00 am to 8:00 pm CDT (closed August 5) Saturday and Sunday - August 10, 11, 17, 18 ONLY - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm CDT August 22 - 9:00 am to 12:00 noon (final day of voting)




I have not received a PIN letter and I believe I am eligible to vote. What should I do?


The Electoral Officer will provide each eligible voter with detailed voting instructions and a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to access the voting system. It is anticipated that this information will be delivered by Canada Post to employees' home addresses between July 24 and August 6. If you have not received this informaiton by August 6, contact the Voter Help Desk at 1-888-281-8683.




I am a new employee. How do I know if I am on the Voters List?


Inquiries such as this should be directed to the Voter Help Desk: 1-888-281-8683. The Help Desk opens on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 at 9:00 am. The hours of operation for the Help Desk are as follows: Monday to Friday - July 30 to August 21 - 9:00 am to 8:00 pm CDT (closed August 5) Saturday and Sunday - August 10, 11, 17 and 18 ONLY - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm August 22, 9:00 am to 12:00 noon (final day of voting)





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