“MSP helps some of Winnipeg’s most vulnerable citizens in their most desperate times. How can the government turn their backs on people so desperately in need of help?” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
Winnipeg (18 April 2017) — The Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE) has learned that Main Street Project (MSP) has had its funding cut and 8 MGEU/NUPGE members have been given layoff notices. It is possible that 2 more members may be affected by the cuts.
“This is deeply distressing news,” said Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President. “MSP helps some of Winnipeg’s most vulnerable citizens in their most desperate times. How can the government turn their backs on people so desperately in need of help?”
Manitoba government's cuts hit most vulnerable
Gawronksy called this a direct hit on frontline public services. “The Premier promised he was going to protect and improve public services and respect those delivering them. Yet so far, his government has directed health regions to slash millions from their budgets, resulting in job cuts, program cuts, ERs closures and now this. It’s bad news for public services in the province."
At MSP, worker safety will be an even bigger issue now. Instead of working in pairs, they will be required to work alone.
“These MSP cuts to front-line unionized positions are coming at the same time as the organization is increasing non-unionized management positions. How does this make sense?” siad Gawronsky “I am again calling on the government to do the right thing and reinstate the funding that has caused these layoffs. Defunding services cannot be a part of a new and improved mental health and addictions strategy.”
- Support/crisis workers at MSP support clients with detox, resource access, shelter and food, finding housing, emotional support and positive lifestyle activities.
- Workers help people access treatment, monitor and distribute medications and safely supervise intoxicated persons detained by police.
- Transition workers help people get established to obtain gainful employment, stable housing, access to other supportive & health-related resources (mental and physical) and get clients suffering from addictions into detox programs.
- For thousands of vulnerable Manitobans, the Main Street Project has been the difference between spending the night on the street in the bitter cold of winter — to having a roof over their heads in a safe place.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE