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

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…

More spending on new hospitals and new beds? Nope

Hospital funding:  There is something off about the provincial government's Budget claims on hospital capital funding (funding to build and renovate hospital beds and facilities).   

For what it is worth (which is not that much, given the long time frame the government cites), the province claims it will increase hospital capital spending over the next 10 years from $11 billion to $20 billion – or on average to about $2 billion per year.  But, this is just a notional increase from the previous announcement of future hospital capital spending. 

Moreover, even if we did take this as a serious promise and not just a wisp of smoke, the government's own reports shows they have actually funded hospital infrastructure about $3 billion a year over the 2011/12-2015/16 period.

So this “increase” is really a decrease from past actual spending. Even last year's (2016-17) hospital capital funding increase was reported in this Budget at $2.3 billion - i.e. about 15% more than they have ann…