The Ontario budget and public sector compensation restraint

Those of you who are tuning in to hear the press coverage of the Ontario budget today may be wondering what the impact will be of the Public Sector Compensation Restraint to Protect Public Services Act, 2010 on your members and your collective agreements.

The Liberal government is being deliberately vague in its explanations but there are several things that we think we know at this time.  First, the immediate compensation freeze only applies to “non-bargaining” public sector (and broader public sector) employees.  Although assurances were given to the OCUFA representatives in the lock-up that this part of the legislation would not apply to any of our members, we will re-confirm when the actual legislation becomes available (there will be a Public Sector Compensation Restraint Board that will have the authority to determine whether employees are covered by the legislation).

The second part of the legislation will deal with employees covered by a bargaining agreement.   It appears at this time that there will be no legislated freeze on compensation in renewal agreements.  The government will “work with transfer payment partners and bargaining agents to seek agreements of at least two years’ duration that do not include net compensation increases”.

There is a FAQ on the legislation (which should be distinguished from Frequently Answered Questions – that must be posted somewhere else) here:  FAQ on Public Sector Restraint Act

OCUFA will be putting out a full analysis of the budget and its implications, and we will obviously be seeking more clarity from the government on its intentions with respect to collective agreements, as well as the definition of “non-bargaining employees”.

All the best,

Donna Gray
Research Director, OCUFA
83 Yonge St. Suite 300
Toronto ON M5C 1S8
office (416) 306-6038
cell (416) 647-339-7840

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