Skip to main content

Drummond: Arbitration needs a-fixin'

Martin Cohn added some more today from his interview with Bay Street one-percenter Don Drummond who is developing  recommendations for government on public sector reform.

And the news is not good. On interest arbitration (which hospital workers are forced by law to use to settle collective bargaining disputes) here is Cohn's report:


Drummond discounts public-sector pay freezes because unions inevitably earn catchup increases down the road. But he is mindful of criticism by Hudak’s Tories that a broken arbitration system needs reform: “Broken might be a bit strong, but I will definitely be making some recommendations for change.”  Arbitrators should reflect private-sector wage trends. But they are wrong to think government can easily meet pay demands merely by raising taxes: with labour costs ranging from 50 to 80 per cent in some sectors, arbitrators must take account of deficit constraints and the lack of additional tax room.
Private sector union wage settlements have been higher than public sector settlements this year and last.  And  private sector bosses are doing much better,  getting much bigger increases than private sector workers.  (But, somehow, I do not think this is what Drummond has in mind when he suggests public sector settlements should reflect private sector wage trends.)

On the 'brutal' Mike Harris years, Drummond is dismissive, suggesting that Harris merely implemented across the board cuts. As discussed in the previous post, Harris's health care reforms were  much more complicated -- and very similar to a lot of the ideas being kicked around today.  But they were a failure -- and even the Harris government decided, eventually, to reverse many of them.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Health care funding falls, again

Real provincial government health care funding per-person has fallen again this year in Ontario, the third year in a row.  Since 2009 real funding per-person has fallen 2.6% -- $63 per person. 

Across Canada real per person funding is in its fourth consecutive year of increase. Since 2009, real provincial funding across Canada is up $89 -- 3.6%.
In fact the funding gap between Ontario and Canada as a whole has gown consistently for years (as set out below in current dollars).

Ontario funds health care less than any other province -- indeed, the province that funds health care the second least (B.C.) provides $185 more per person per year, 4.7% more.  
Provincial health care spending in the rest of Canada (excluding Ontario) is now  $574 higher per person annually than in Ontario. 

 Ontario has not always provided lower than average health care funding increases-- but that has been the general pattern since 2005.
Private expenditures on health care have exceeded Ontario government increases …

Ontario long-term care staffing falls far short of other provinces

CUPE and others are campaigning for a legislated minimum average of four worked hours of nursing and personal care per resident per day in long-term care (LTC) facilities.  New research indicates that not only is LTC underfunded in Ontario, it is also understaffed compared to the other provinces. 
LTC staffing falls short:  The latest data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (and based on a mandatory survey undertaken by Statistics Canada) indicates that staffing at long-term care (LTC) facilities falls far short of other provinces. 
Part of this is driven by a low level of provincial funding for LTC.





Ontario has 0.575 health care full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) per bed staffed and in operation.[1]  The rest of Canada reports 0.665 health care FTEs.[2] The rest of Canada has 15.7% more health care staff per bed staffed and in operation than Ontario.[3] 


No other province reports fewer LTC health care staff per resident (or per bed) than Ontario.[4]

Occupancy r…

Six more problems with Public Private Partnerships (P3s)

The Auditor General (AG) has again identified issues in her annual reportwhich reflect problems with Ontario health care capacity and privatization.   First, here are six key problems with the maintenance of the 16 privatized P3 ("public private partnership") hospitals in Ontario:
There are long-term ongoing disputes with privatized P3 contractors over the P3 agreements, including about what is covered by the P3  (or “AFP” as the government likes to call them) contract.The hospitals are required to pay higher than reasonable rates tothe P3 contractor for  maintenance work the contractor has deemed to be outside of the P3 contract. Hospitals are almost forced to use P3 contractors to do maintenance work the contractors deem outside of the P3 contract or face the prospect of transferring the risk associated with maintaining the related hospital assets from the private-sector company back to the hospitalP3 companies with poor perf…