11/15/12

PCs rule out legislative wage freeze deal with McGuinty

The Progressive Conservatives have  -- effectively -- ruled out reaching an agreement with the McGuinty government on a legislative public sector "wage freeze".

Peter Shurman
Legislative Photo
While complaining that the Dalton McGuinty government has not pursued negotiations with the PCs over a legislated wage freeze, PC point-man Peter Shurman  let slip that one of the demands the PCs put to the Liberals was that the government would have to guarantee that whoever succeeds McGuinty as Liberal leader would also impose whatever deal the PCs and the McGuinty government worked out.

That's an impossible promise for McGuinty to make. Once someone else is in charge, she (or he) will be in charge -- and there's nothing McGunity can do about that. He's a lame duck leader with zero authority after the (fast approaching) leadership convention January 25-26.

The PC demand is unworkable.  The reality is both the PCs and McGuinty have very limited options -- no one knows what the next leader will do on this file, so legislative deal making on it is pretty much at an impasse.

What a pity!

Of course, another joint Liberal -- PC attack on free collective bargaining could well take place after a new leader is chosen.  Indeed, only a few of the prospective Liberal leaders have made any sounds about taking a new approach to public sector industrial relations --so far at least.

Outgoing Finance Minister Dwight Duncan added this regarding the PC industrial relations legislative demands:  “We don’t like their approach on these things. Our first priority is to deal with the parties at the table. We’ve got the doctors — we’re very proud of that. We’re working with OPSEU.”

Even the Liberal leader of the legislative attack on collective bargaining is focused on trying to get some deals done before he is done.  

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