Province asks for compensation restraint

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By Communications Staff
Monday, July 19, 2010
A memo from Ontario's Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) received by Western officials outlines the province's position regarding public sector compensation restraint measures referred to in the March budget.

In the memo from the MTCU, for non-bargaining public sector employees, the province has passed the Public Sector Compensation Restraint to Protect Public Services Act, 2010, prohibiting increases to compensation for all non-bargaining public sector employees before the beginning of April 2012.

For employees who bargain collectively, the province will respect all current agreements. But when these agreements expire, the province expects agreements to be sought of at least two years duration with no net increase in compensation.
 
The memo reads, “The (province’s) fiscal plan provides no funding for compensation increases for any future collective agreements,” and goes on to say, “Any increase in funding provided by the province… is for the purpose of providing and protecting public services and is not to be diverted to fund increases in employee compensation.”
 
With seven employee group contracts expiring this year, what does this news mean for Western?
 
“The province has been indicating for some time that we would receive clarification on its policy statements following the budget,” says Helen Connell, Western’s Associate Vice-President, Communications & Public Affairs.
 
“We expect negotiations to continue as scheduled. Compensation, including salary and benefits, is only one aspect of negotiations. For example, it’s common to negotiate working conditions. In the area of compensation, the province has clearly stated that it is permissible to negotiate aspects of compensation as long as the parties reach agreements that comply with the government’s expectation that the total compensation package not increase.”
 
Frequently Asked Questions regarding public sector compensation constraint can be found on Ontario’s Ministry of Finance website.

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