McGuinty: Restraint "for a couple of years"

This morning while touring a french catholic school, Dalton McGunity tried to make nice with school teachers and suggested that restraint was "just for a couple of years".

That is not the official Liberal plan. The Liberal finance minister's July statement proposes a compensation freeze (including benefits) for new collective agreements. Even progress through an established wage grid "must be fully offset from within the total compensation package." If a collective agreement is for more than two years, the minister says the period beyond two years must also have a compensation freeze.

So a change in policy? One can always hope, but I doubt it. This is more likely a bit of twisting before the crucial by-elections Thursday. It certainly wouldn't be the first time Liberal election promises were revealed to be howlers -- post-election.  (Indeed on the same school tour, McGuinty suggested that all he is asking from the teachers is a 'pause' -- despite the benefit concessions and the 1.5% wage cut he is imposing.)

The good news is that McGuinty is feeling enough heat that he feels the need to suggest that restraint would last just two years - even if it's a fib made before an important by-election. 

More pressure will get more certain results.  Until now, at least, McGuinty has felt much more heat from the corporate class and the PCs.

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