Winnipeg midwives avoid strike by approving new contract

Midwives in Winnipeg have voted in favour of a new contract with the provincial government and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, meaning they will not be going on strike.

'We have reached an agreement that all parties deem fair,' says CUPE

Dozens gathered outside Winnipeg's Birth Centre in February to hold an informational picket, calling for better compensation for midwives in the province. (Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC)

Midwives in Winnipeg have voted in favour of a new contract with the provincial government and the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, meaning they will not be going on strike.

The union representing them, CUPE Local 2348 (Midwives), announced on Monday afternoon that members voted over the weekend to accept the new collective agreement. 

"After a difficult round of bargaining, we are pleased that we have reached an agreement that all parties deem fair," CUPE national representative Sheree Capar said in a news release.

"It is our hope that this new agreement will help to recruit and retain midwives in Manitoba."

After the midwives voted in favour of a strike mandate earlier this month, a meeting was held with a provincial conciliation officer on March 17 and "and acceptable package was presented," the union said.

"The provincial government and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority have acknowledged the value of midwifery services in Manitoba, and we will work with them to promote this important health care profession," Capar said.

"There continues to be a growing demand from Manitoba families for midwifery, and we are encouraged that the province is working to address this demand."

CUPE noted that the new contract will move the province's midwifery profession "closer in line with other jurisdictions, making it easier for the WRHA to retain both existing and newly trained midwives in Winnipeg."

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