Consultations Begin On Public Sector Compensation
McGuinty Government Takes Next Step In Plan To Manage Responsibly
Today, public service employers and labour leaders were brought together to begin a discussion about managing responsibly through upcoming compensation negotiations. The McGuinty government is working with its partners to manage compensation expenses in order to protect key public services Ontarians rely on, such as health care and our schools.
The 2010 Budget outlined the Ontario government's plan for reducing and eliminating the deficit over eight years. Managing compensation costs is a key part of that plan. Compensation represents the single largest expenditure of the Ontario government.
The government will respect all current collective agreements, but when these agreements expire and new contracts are negotiated, transfer payment partners and bargaining agents are expected to seek agreements lasting at least two years with no net increase in compensation.
The government is also asking its partners to agree to pause ongoing labour negotiations and interest arbitrations, in order to allow more detailed consultations on compensation.
- The 2010 Ontario Budget outlines the government's plan for reducing and then eliminating the deficit. The plan will cut the deficit in half in five years and eliminate it by 2017-18. The public rightly expects the government to make responsible choices and to live within its fiscal plan. Managing compensation growth is a critical part of the plan. The Budget plan set out measures to restrain compensation growth in the Ontario Public Service and Broader Public Sector by freezing compensation structures of non-bargained employees for two years.
- More than $50 billion - or 55 per cent - of all government program expenses go to compensation, either directly or through transfers.
- The plan also contains a Policy Statement laying out the clear expectation that new collective agreements will be of at least two years in duration and provide no net increase in compensation for at least two years. The fiscal plan provides no funding for incremental compensation increases for new collective agreements, which also applies to the province's share of any cost-shared programs.
“Any plan to address the deficit while preserving services and jobs must address compensation, which is the largest expenditure of the Ontario government. It doesn't matter whether contracts expire next month, next year or the year after that - Ontarians expect everyone paid by tax dollars to work together and do their part.”