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Liberals threaten to bring back interest arbitration legislation

A senior Liberal official has said the government will bring back the interest arbitration legislation that was defeated when the government brought in its Budget bill earlier this year. 

“We’ll be taking action and reintroducing the sections of the budget bill that Hudak instructed his party’s members to vote against, even though it was in their election platform." 

McGuinty's comment of a year ago that it was unwise to 'finagle' with interest arbitration was, I guess, just stuff you say.

Toronto Star reporter Robert Benzie suggests the Liberals will first "expand... the wage-freeze push from teachers to other public servants in the weeks ahead, before tackling arbitration."

The reports came as Tim Hudak and the PCs announced they would be introducing another bill on interest arbitration. The Ability to Pay Act is basically designed to favour employers in cases of  interest arbitration. (Essential service workers, like hospital and LTC workers, are required by law to settle contract disputes by interest arbitration and do not have the legal right to strike.)  The Tories had introduced yet another bill in the spring session of the Legislature with  the same idea in mind (the Trust in Arbitration Act 2012), but that bill went nowhere. 

Apparently, even the PCs think their previous attempt came up short, as their new bill tries to bias the arbitration process in a different way.  I guess we are expected to trust trust they know better now. 

In the current version, Hudak and Co. say they would have the Minister of Labour appoint the arbitration boards. 

This is a tragic/comic contrast with their current criticism of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).  Only hours ago, Mr Hudak tweeted "Local health care shouldn't be run by people appointed by the Cabinet as is the case with the LHINs. We have a better way".  

Yet arbitration is going to be credible when a party obviously connected to the employers gets to appoint the arbitrators?


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