Skip to main content

Tiny cracks appear in Liberal attack on collective bargaining

After the architects of the Liberal attack on collective bargaining (Premier McGuinty and Finance Minister Dwight Duncan) announced their exit from provincial politics, the first, very modest, move away from their policy has appeared.

Kathleen Wynne
The Globe reports that leadership candidate Kathleen Wynne says she will not introduce broader public sector legislation:

“She distanced herself from Premier Dalton McGuinty, who has spent much of this year fighting with the province’s teachers and doctors, by saying she would not pursue his plans to introduce legislation that would freeze wages for public-sector workers for two years.”
Albeit, they quote her saying:

“My hope is we would see more negotiated settlements, and that the imposition of collective agreements wouldn’t be necessary. It would be moot.”

McGunity had unveiled (but had not introduced to the legislature) legislation in late September that would have stopped free collective bargaining in the broader public sector (the so-called "Protecting Public Services Act").  After that proposal failed to gain traction, McGuinty and Duncan announced they would go.

Less encouragingly, Wynne says she won’t withdraw the recently passed legislation which attacks collective bargaining in the school board sector. She says of the school board legislation:

"The legislation is in place, and there are conversations going on between teachers and boards right now...What I know is that we need to rebuild those relationships, and if I'm lucky enough to be the leader of the party, then that is something that I will be focusing on is rebuilding those relationships."

Also less encouraging, Glen Murray released a five point program at his leadership campaign launch, but none dealt with collective bargaining.  While the media focused on collective bargaining with Wynne's campaign launch, there was no comment in the coverage of Murray's launch.  Perhaps no one asked.

CUPE health care workers are currently lobbying dozens of MPPs to support free collective bargaining and a balanced interest arbitration system in health care.

Popular posts from this blog

Deficit? Public spending ain't the cause. Revenue, however...

With the election over, pressure to cut public programs has become quite intense. In almost all of the corporate owned media someone is barking on about it.

Another option -- increasing revenue from corporations and the wealthy is not mentioned.  However, data clearly indicates that Ontario does not have an overspending problem compared to the other provinces.

Instead, it indicates Ontario has very low revenue. 
Ontario has the lowest public spending of all the provinces on a per capita basis (see the chart from the 2014 Ontario Budget below).  So there is little reason to suspect that we have an over-spending problem.  If anything, this suggests we have an under-spending problem.

The Ontario government has also now reported in the 2014 Budget that Ontario has the lowest revenue per capita of any province.  This is particularly notable as other provinces are quite a bit poorer than Ontario and therefore have a much more limited ability to pay for public spending.  (Also notable in this…

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…

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 …