Skip to main content

Liberal rush to rule out free collective bargaining doesn't add up

The Ontario Liberal government has largely justified its rush to prevent free collective bargaining in the education sector by claiming that without such legislation junior teachers will get their normal increment steps on the wage grid as they accrue more experience as teachers.  To wit, they argue:

"Current teacher and support staff agreements expire on Aug. 31, 2012. If these are not replaced by September 1, the terms of existing contracts will automatically roll over. If this were to happen, the cost for teachers moving up the grid and for continuing the existing retirement gratuity and sick leave provisions would be $473 million."

This is curious as the government actually agreed to allow the increment increases in its memorandum of understanding with the catholic teachers association - albeit on the 97th day of the school year.

The trade-off loss of three days professional development pay does not occur until well into 2013 and 2014: October 11, 2013, December 20, 2013, and March 7, 2014.

That's a long way away.  In other words the government won't get that cost saving for a long time yet.

So what's the rush?

Is it just to get the sick leave concession?  That's unlikely, as, absent the establishment by school boards of a third party adjudication process, teachers will still get paid at 90% for absences over 10 days.  (Local agreements haven't even been agreed to, never mind the establishment of this other 3rd party process.)

By-election politics sounds like a more credible answer for all the haste.

Comments

  1. no kidding - this govt lies badly and is "praying" the public is stupid

    ReplyDelete
  2. does 97 school days put us into the next fiscal year??? looks better on their by-election budget lines

    ReplyDelete
  3. The provine's fiscal year begins April 1, long after the 97th day. So I don't know what the advantage is for the government, other than a modest delay .

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Fiscal-Year-End is an oddity. The provincial government's FYE is March 31st (as Doug Allan has posted).

    I believe that Municipalities are based on the calendar year, although I'm not sure if each municipality can set its own FYE.

    The relevance of municipalities is that the local school boards are the direct employer of teachers, not the province.

    Based on day 1 being September 4th, 97 days into the school year would land on December 10th. Which is an odd day, since school winter breaks can't possibly start that early.

    There might be some sort of accounting advantage to picking day 97, but it's likely a compromise date between the unions and the province/boards.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting. I have heard that the 97th day is half way through the school year, so it may be a compromise as you suggest.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Public sector employment in Ontario is far below the rest of Canada

The suggestion that Ontario has a deficit because its public sector is too large does not bear scrutiny. Consider the following. 

Public sector employment has fallen in the last three quarters in Ontario.  Since 2011, public sector employment has been pretty flat, with employment up less than 4 tenths of one percent in the first half of 2015 compared with the first half of 2011.


This contrasts with public sector employment outside of Ontario which has gone up pretty consistently and is now 4.7% higher than it was in the first half of 2011.



Private sector employment has also gone up consistently over that period. In Ontario, it has increased 4.3% since the first half of 2011, while in Canada as a whole it has increased 4.9%.







As a result, public sector employment in Ontario is now shrinking as a percentage of the private sector workforce.  In contrast, in the rest of Canada, it is increasing. Moreover, public sector employment is muchhigher in the rest of Canada than in Ontario.  Indeed as…

The long series of failures of private clinics in Ontario

For many years, OCHU/CUPE has been concerned the Ontario government would transfer public hospital surgeries, procedures and diagnostic tests to private clinics. CUPE began campaigning in earnest against this possibility in the spring of 2007 with a tour of the province by former British Health Secretary, Frank Dobson, who talked about the disastrous British experience with private surgical clinics.

The door opened years ago with the introduction of fee-for-service hospital funding (sometimes called Quality Based Funding). Then in the fall of 2013 the government announced regulatory changes to facilitate this privatization. The government announced Request for Proposals for the summer of 2014 to expand the role of "Independent Health Facilities" (IHFs). 

With mass campaigns to stop the private clinic expansion by the Ontario Health Coalition the process slowed.  

But it seems the provincial Liberal government continues to push the idea.  Following a recent second OCHU tour wi…

Hospital worker sick leave: too much or too little?

Ontario hospital workers are muchless absent due to illness or disability than hospital workers Canada-wide.  In 2014, Ontario hospital workers were absent 10.2 days due to illness or disability, 2.9 days less than the Canada wide average – i.e. 22% less.  In fact, Ontario hospital workers have had consistently fewer sick days for years.

This is also true if absences due to family or personal responsibilities are included.
Statistics Canada data for the last fifteen years for Canada and Ontario are reported in the chart below, showing Ontario hospital workers are consistently off work less.
Assuming, Ontario accounts for about 38% of the Canada-wide hospital workforce, these figures suggest that the days lost due to illness of injury in Canada excluding Ontario are about 13.6 days per year ([13.6 x 0.68] + [10.2 x 0.38] = 13.1).

In other words, hospital workers in the rest of Canada are absent from work due to illness or disability 1/3 more than Ontario hospital workers. 

In fact, Canad…