The Ontario government has tabled a legislation that would cap the wages for the public sector at one per cent. The legislation, “Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations” was presented on Wednesday by Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy.
“We owe it to Ontario’s taxpayers to address our fiscal situation head-on, and ensure every dollar is spent wisely. The challenge of our generation is to make choices that protect what matters most, like front-line programs and services, while confronting intergenerational inequity and future economic shocks,” said Bethlenfalvy in the press release.
The press release states that the government will engage with public sector employers and bargaining agents to explore how compensation growth can be managed in a way that results in wage settlements that are modest, reasonable and sustainable.
After stating this in the press release, the government proposed to cap the wages for the next three years.
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“Facing nearly $300 million in cuts this year and next, it’s easy to see why every single one of these workers wanted to join us. When you’ve got a government as cruel and chaotic as Doug Ford’s, frontline workers need a strong, powerful union like OPSEU,” said Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) President Warren (Smokey) Thomas in a press release.
According to OPSEU’s press release, the Ford government will also be making cuts to Ontario’s Legal Aid system. They will be cutting $130 million this year and another $160 million next year. The government has also ordered the agency to reduce the support it offers to refugee claimants significantly.
“By fighting for less precarious wages and working conditions, they’re fighting to provide even better services to the people who need them,” said Kareen Marshall, chair of OPSEU’s Community Agencies division.