Skip to main content

Are public sector cuts 'tame' compared to private sector?

Dwight Duncan claimed yesterday that compared to the belt-tightening endured by workers in the private sector, his legislation restricting collective bargaining in the public sector "is tame stuff".

Sounds like a claim worth investigating.

Wages are the most important single item bargained -- for both workers and employers. So it's a pretty good way to compare outcomes for different sorts of workers.

According to Ontario Ministry of Labour own data, public sector and private sector workers have done about the same in collective bargaining. In 2010, private sector annual wage settlements averaged 2.0%, while the public sector averaged 1.9%. In 2011, the private sector averaged 1.9% versus the public's sector's 1.6%. So far this year (January through July) both public sector and private sector have averaged 1.7%.

Compounded, the private sector is actually 0.4% ahead of the game.

Duncan, perhaps might claim that if you went back more than the last two years seven months, a different picture might emerge.  And true enough, the private sector did worse than the public sector for eight out of the ten years from  2000 through 2009.  But the public sector did worse than the private sector eight out of ten years  from 1990 through 1999.

So, taking the longer term into consideration, it's about a wash.

This, of course, says nothing of the blessed few earning a salary. As reported many times here, they are doing much better. This year and next they are projected to get 2.7% average increase. The salaried class did even better in 2011.

 


Comments

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…