May 10, 2021
Dear WTA Member,
Your local has been working hard to reach a new agreement but the Winnipeg School Division is refusing. Instead, WSD has opted to proceed with the previously established dates for arbitration, starting July 22, 2021.
In the interest of time, resources, and costs, we have requested that the Division follow the lead of 34 other divisions, by replicating the Pembina Trails arbitration award which provided teachers with annual salary increases of 1.6 per cent, 1.4 per cent, 0.5 per cent and COLA for the four years between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2022. The Division, however, is refusing to negotiate, putting WTA members in a precarious position with the impending proclamation of Bill 45.
If Bill 45, the provincial bargaining legislation, is proclaimed before we reach a new agreement, the arbitration process will be rendered moot and our salaries will be frozen at the 2018 salary level. Our salaries will remain frozen until a new provincial collective agreement is reached, which can take years. There is no guarantee that WSD members will be able to retroactively recoup these losses in a provincial agreement.
Meanwhile, 35 other divisions have arrived at a new collective agreement either through arbitration or negotiated settlement. This means that WTA members are being paid significantly less for doing the same job as most of our colleagues around the province.
Currently, a Class 5 salary in Winnipeg is ranked last – 38th out of 38 division.
On May 3, WTA president Michelle Wolfe, presented to the school board on behalf of members, making the case for trustees to settle a new agreement that follows the pattern set by Pembina Trails in arbitration and subsequently replicated by 34 other school divisions and teacher locals through voluntary settlements. Click here and scrub to 16:47 to listen to the presentation. To date, trustees have failed to act.
You deserve better than this. We encourage you to make your displeasure with the status of bargaining known to those responsible – the decision makers who have refused to act. You should call or email the school trustees and ask why they are holding you back. Tell them that WTA members deserve a fair deal.
Click here to contact the WSD trustees.
Yours in solidarity,