8/21/10

Wage freeze consultations dawdle as Liberals fall to second place

The first two weeks of the Liberal government's consultations with unions on a 'compensation freeze' are up. 

University faculty unions were one of the groups involved in the first two weeks of consultations. So here's the resolution on those consultations from the university faculty unions, passed on to the government Wednesday evening:

The Ontario faculty associations and other groups representing academic staff have received reports from their delegation about the issues discussed the week of August 9, 2010 with COU (Council of Ontario Universities) and government officials. We are confident that these issues can better be addressed at the local level by free collective bargaining. This would acknowledge the diversity of Ontario’s universities and their respective financial situations. We also do not accept the government’s premise that compensation is the cause of the current financial situation, nor its determination, made even before commencing its consultation process, that a two year wage freeze singling out public sector employees is the only way to deal with the province’s fiscal situation.

Accordingly, the faculty unions advised the government and the COU  that their "representative group...would no longer take part in the consultations."

OPSEU also reports that almost 100 people showed up to protest at a Liberal fundraiser at 6:30 Wednesday morning at a golf  club outside of Ottawa.  Members from CUPE, the CAW, PSAC, ONA , and the Ottawa and District Labour Council joined the protest.  The trade unionists handed out OPSEU golf balls to the attendees as they stopped cars attempting to enter.  Apparently some attendees grew impatient in traffic line-ups, with two incidents of aggressive behaviour resulting in police intervention.

Added to these woes, today's Ipsos - Reid poll shows that the Liberals have fallen to second place in the polls.  The Ontario PCs (whose loudest campaign of late has been for the abolition of McGuinty's health care LHINs) are now on top. The provincial election is a little over a year away, and no doubt with each passing week, the Liberals will become more sensitive to such news.

The formal compensation freeze consultations now break for a week.  OCHU/CUPE will confer with the government and the Ontario Hospital Association in the second round of consultations, starting August 30.


dallan@cupe.ca

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