Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) is optimistic that progress is being made toward ending the strike action initiated by the Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union (MGEU) now that the union has agreed to engage the services of a conciliator.
“This strike never needed to happen. We have been offering MGEU resolution of this dispute since August 22, the day we tabled an enhanced offer that has a global monetary value of up to 17 per cent for the average union salary,” said Ward Keith, MPI Chairperson. “That deal came with an offer to proceed directly to arbitration on the matter of general wage increases, which were the sticking point for MGEU during negotiations. They have consistently refused that offer, instead choosing to take 1,700 of our employees to the picket lines for three weeks before agreeing to resume discussions with MPI.”
A mutually agreed upon conciliator has been engaged and the conciliation process is expected to get underway early next week.
While MPI works to resolve the ongoing labour interruption, it continues to expand service delivery to Manitobans. Effective immediately, customers who have had a Class 1-6 or Air Brake knowledge test cancelled because of labour interruption or who already have a test booked with MPI can walk in to take their test without an appointment. Further details are available on MPI’s website.
MPI has also been able to resume Class 5 road tests in over 20 communities across the province. Our strong and valued relationships with MPI-certified driver instructor partners is providing Manitobans with continued access to these tests. Customers waiting for a test are being contacted by MPI to schedule a time in their community.
MPI is continuing to explore options to resume Class 1-4 road testing in Manitoba. Classes 1-4, which include ambulances, buses and commercial vehicles, require more in-depth training and testing procedures than Class 5 passenger vehicles and all of our planning will maintain all expected public safety considerations.
This work builds on MPI’s existing contingency plans, which also address the sharp increase in hail claims MPI has experienced in 2023. To respond quickly to this demand, MPI has begun using new technology at its Physical Damage Centre to provide faster estimates. In the first two weeks, MPI has scheduled over 1,100 estimates, which will helpmore customers get their vehicles repaired sooner.
- Customers with general inquiries or front-end service transactions, including licensing renewal and insurance payments can visit one of MPI’s nearly 300 broker partners. Find a broker in your community using MPI’s Find a Service tool.
- The MPI Contact Centre is open for customers reporting personal injury claims, non-drivable collision claims, and total-theft claims.
- Customers reporting all other passenger vehicle (car, SUV and light duty truck) claims can expedite the process by filling out MPI’s simplified claim reporting form. MPI will contact customers with a claim number they can take to an MPI-accredited repair shop for vehicle estimates and repairs.
“I am pleased by the work being done by MPI officials to maintain services for our customers during this challenging time,” said Keith. “But Manitobans deserve more; they deserve full access to the services they rely on and that can only happen once MGEU agrees to end this unnecessary strike and bring our employees back to work. We want to find a quick and responsible resolution so we can get back to the important work of serving our customers.”