Supreme Court won't hear appeal of Manitoba wage freeze

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Supreme Court will not hear appeal on Manitoba wage freeze

< p class="styled__StyledLegend-sc-v64krj-0 cfqhYM">As is customary, the Supreme Court of Canada does not explain its decision not to hear this appeal brought by the unions.

The Supreme Court of Canada has indicated Thursday morning that it will not hear a case relating to the freezing of the wages of public servants in Manitoba. A coalition of unions wanted to be able to appeal a decision by the Manitoba Court of Appeal, which ruled that the provincial government could freeze the wages of more than 100,000 workers.

As is customary, the Supreme Court did not give reasons for its decision. In a statement, the coalition of unions The Partnership to Defend Public Services expressed disappointment.

By refusing to hear our case, the Supreme Court leaves in abeyance the contradictory decisions of the two lower courts in Manitoba, supports the president of the Manitoba Federation of Labor and spokesperson of the coalition, Kevin Rebeck.

Although this is not the outcome we hoped for, we will continue to fight for the rights of workers to collective bargaining, he continues.

The Public Service Sustainability Act, which had not been enacted since its adoption, was finally repealed in the spring. This law imposed a wage freeze on provincial employees and was retroactive. This is why government negotiators were behaving as if it were in effect, unions claimed at the time.

In June 2020, the Act was struck down by the Court of Queen's Bench, which called it a draconian measure. The Manitoba Court of Appeal overturned that decision in October 2021.

The repeal of the Sustainable Public Services Act was the first piece of legislation announced by the Manitoba government. Heather Sefanson, to mark a break with the policies of her predecessor, Brian Pallister.

We forced the Stefanson government to repeal [the law] in the spring thanks to the solidarity and strength of workers and their unions. Although it was repealed five years too late, it's rare to force a government to back down on a key piece of legislation, Rebeck said.

It notes that several civil servants' unions have recently obtained salary increases.

In a statement, the Minister of Labour, Consumer Protection and Government Services Reg Helwer says the government is keeping its line since the Court of Appeal decision. As we said after the unanimous and comprehensive decision of the Court of Appeal, we are looking forward , he argues.

Collective agreements continue to be reached across the public sector to strengthen jobs that have been protected during the unprecedented challenges of the global pandemic, adds the Minister.

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