WINNIPEG - The Selinger government drew a line in the sand today for its public sector unions in its plan to whip a projected $600 million budget deficit.
Finance Minister Rosann Wowchuk said Tuesday the province wants public employees, including its nurses, to take a two-year wage freeze.
"We're asking everybody to take a pause," Wowchuk told the Free Press. "We are in difficult times and we have to have realistic expectations."
The province is in the middle of negotiating new contracts with its nurses and starts negotiations next month with its biggest union the Manitoba Government Employees Union. Its contact expires March 26.
MGEU president Peter Olfert said he was disappointed Wowchuk is "negotiating in the media" on its position on wages.
I think this does constitute an attack on public sector workers, and it is playing into the whole idea that public sector workers have it too good and need to be taken down a notch. It's the same thing that Filmon did in the 90s - taking deficit issues out on workers. And the only reason we have this deficit is because of tax cuts which have benefitted mainly the rich and corporations
So, can we finally put to rest the notion that the NDP is a party of the working class?
Also, the MFL needs to seriously wake the fuck up and start fighting for workers instead of rolling over to the NDP. Maybe they can start working together with other movements trying to build coalitions against neoliberalism like the student movement, instead of stabbing them in the back.