Appeals court rules Manitoba had the right to impose wage freeze on public sector

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WINNIPEG — The Manitoba Court of Appeal has ruled the provincial government was within its right to legislate a wage freeze for 120,000 public-sector workers.

The court has overturned a lower-court ruling that said the wage freeze bill, introduced in 2017 but never proclaimed, violated collective bargaining rights.

The written decision says the trial judge was wrong in saying that the government was required to negotiate before introducing the bill.

The appeal judges also say it is not unconstitutional for a government to remove wages from the bargaining table.

The coalition of labour groups that challenged the legislation says it is considering taking the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Former premier Brian Pallister said the wage freeze was needed to help bring Manitoba's deficit under control.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 13, 2021

The Canadian Press

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