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McGuinty neatly stokes interest arbitration campaign

Dalton McGuinty has craftily stoked his campaign to change the rules for interest arbitration -- the system imposed on essential service workers who are forbidden by law from striking to settle collective bargaining disputes.

The Liberals had tried to tilt the system in favour of the employers in their Budget Bill in early summer.  But they failed miserably when the New Democrats and PCs opposed the changes (for opposite reasons). After that setback, McGuinty said he would bring back legislation in the fall, with some hope of working with the PCs to pass it.

On Wednesday McGuinty flagged some perks earned by police and firefighters and sternly called on municipalities to deal with them -- as he had with the teachers.

The (predictable) response from local officials was renewed calls for McGuinty to introduce legislation that would tilt interest arbitration towards employers.

Newspaper articles appeared and saps like the Windsor Star editorialists vigorously demanded that McGuinty "rewrite the arbitration rules" -- apparently oblivious to the fact that McGuinty was building his bluster to do just that. -- In fact, only a few months ago he plainly said he intends to legislate changes to interest arbitration. 

Very neatly played by McGuinty.

Unfortunately hospital workers -- who also are also forced to settle contract disputes through interest arbitration -- may get caught up in the same scheme, even if they haven't seen the same financial benefits from interest arbitration as police or fire.

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