MGEU continues campaign to offset soaring gas prices

New formula needed to determine fair mileage rates for public employees


Winnipeg (20 Oct. 2008) - One month ago, the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) launched a

major postcard campaign to pressure the Manitoba Government to:

  • raise mileage reimbursement rates for government employees who are required to use their personal vehicles for work purposes; and
  • institute a formula that would ensure workers were being adequately compensated when prices fluctuate either up or down in the future.

The fact is it simply isn’t fair that Manitoba public sector workers have to pay out of their own pockets for costs incurred as part of doing their jobs. The extra costs they are now being forced to pick up, due to high gas prices and inadequate mileage reimbursement rates paid by government, are eroding their family incomes. Some people are paying hundreds of dollars a month for gas and vehicle related costs incurred as part of doing their jobs.

The campaign thus far has been a tremendous success. The union and several concerned activists have been getting out to meetings, calling friends and coworkers, and visiting workplaces to ensure that as many cards as possible are received. To date, the union has received over 12,000 postcards from MGEU members who agree that it’s time the government stopped making public sector workers subsidize their own jobs and departments.

This is one of the most significant responses MGEU has ever had to a campaign of this nature and it should underline for government the outrage public sector workers, and the general public, are feeling about the way they are being treated.

MGEU states, "If you still have postcards that have not been signed, please do so now and send them back to the union (in the postage paid envelopes provided to you) immediately.

"While we’ve had a good start to the campaign, it is by no means an end. Our goal is to get a deal with government that ensures fair compensation for people who drive as part of their work – both now and in the future. Since the campaign was launched, the union has been in contact with the government’s compensation committee representatives and those conversations are continuing. In addition, the union has been given assurances that a meeting will take place with government early next week to discuss a possible solution.

If a deal cannot be reached soon, we will be calling on affected MGEU members, and their friends and family, to help us take things to the next level. That could mean a public event at the Legislature or actions in communities across Manitoba.

"We will be updating members as much as possible in the days to come about the progress of discussions with government, so please stay tuned to the MGEU website for further details. And thanks very much to the thousands of people who have assisted in this effort."