Message to members about public sector labour relations and compensation

Dan Belliveau

On May 3, 2019 the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities held a consultation meeting with post-secondary employee groups to discuss how to "manage Ontario public sector compensation growth in a way that results in wage settlements that are modest, reasonable and sustainable". Unfortunately, this 'consultation exercise' turned out to be a mere formality as the government prepares to introduce legislated changes to bargaining. We have since learned, as has been reported in some media outlets, that the government is considering wage control measures, including:

1. Compensation limited to 0-1% for all new collective agreements.

2. The introduction of centralized bargaining, where government representatives bargain with the university as a whole. This is similar to the current practice in British Columbia and for colleges in Ontario.

3. Opening current collective agreements to reduce compensation already established.

These measures are deeply flawed and may well contravene the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which protects the right to collective bargaining. While we are unable to offer much more information at this time, we are monitoring these developments closely and working with our provincial partner, OCUFA and our federal partner, CAUT, to defend against any attacks on our collective rights as a unionized employee group. We will notify you as soon as any legislation is tabled.

One way members can act right now is to contact your local MPP and voice your concerns about the negative effect these decisions will have on the quality of higher education in Ontario. Click here for suggested talking points to raise with MPPs. Contact information for our local MPPs is as follows:

Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe)
tarmstrong-qp [at] ndp [dot] on [dot] ca

Queen's Park
Room 159
Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A5

Constituency Office
155 Clarke Rd.
London, ON N5W 5C9
Tel: 519-668-1104

Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre)
TKernaghan-QP [at] ndp [dot] on [dot] ca

Queen's Park
Room 362
Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A8

Constituency Office
Unit 105
400 York St. 
London, ON N6B 3N2
Tel: 519-432-7339

Peggy Sattler (London West)
Psattler-qp [at] ndp [dot] on [dot] ca

Queen's Park
Room 359
Main Legislative Building, Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A8

Constituency Office
Unit 106
240 Commissioners Rd. W
London, ON N6J 1Y1
Tel: 519-657-3120

Jeff Yurek (Elgin-Middlesex-London)
jeff [dot] yurek [at] pc [dot] ola [dot] org

Ministry of Transportation
Room SE211
5th Floor
777 Bay St.
Toronto, ON M7A 1Z8

Constituency Office
Suite 201
750 Talbot St.
St. Thomas, ON N5P 1E2
Toll free: 1-800-265-7638

Yours in solidarity,

Dan Belliveau, UWOFA president