Skip to main content

Union wage advantage grows by $1.71 per hour

Union wages compared to non-union wages

The gap between union and non-union wages in Ontario has grown significantly since the start of the recession in 2008, increasing by $1.71 per hour, Statistics Canada data indicates.

The hourly union advantage grew by 34 cents per hour each year on average.  For a full time worker, that means the advantage for having union coverage in your workplace is growing by about $663 per year. 

Compared to five years ago, that means the union wage advantage for an employee working full time hours has grown by $3,334 per year.

In July 2008, the union premium was already considerable at 26.5% ($25.75 average wage per hour for those with union coverage versus $20.35 for those without, a $5.40 an hour difference).

Five years later, in July 2013, the union premium had grown to 31.7%.  Union wages averaged $29.56 in 2013 versus $22.45 for workers without union coverage.  That is a $7.11 advantage for workers with union coverage.

Temporary Workers: the biggest advantage?
Unionized temporary employees are especially far ahead of their non-union counterparts, with the union premium growing from 55.1% in 2008 to 60.9% in 2013.  For permanent employees, the gap grew from  to 21.4% to 26.1%.

Women Workers Especially Benefit
The union premium is also especially marked for women workers.  The union advantage for women workers in Ontario was 37.9% in July 2008 and is now 41%.  That is $8.41 per hour extra.  For men the difference is less but still quite large, at 17.5% in 2008 and 24.3% now (with a $5.91 per hour premium in July 2013).

Canada-wide data
Across Canada, the union premium is not quite so marked, and the premium has grown more slowly over the last five years.

Still, with the gap growing from 23.7% to 25.1% (from a $4.65 per hour  premium to a $5.56 per hour premium) the union advantage is quite large and growing.

As in Ontario, temporary workers across Canada especially benefit from workplaces with union coverage.  The gap is currently $7.85 per hour.  For temporary workers, however, the dollar gap is only somewhat larger than 2008, when the union premium was $6.80.  As well, the percentage difference has slightly shrunk, from just over 49% to just under 49%.

The union premium across Canada for women workers is also especially large, but grew only slightly over the five years, from 35.1% to 35.7% (or from $6.06 per hour to $7.09 per hour).

Union coverage means higher wages, especially for women and temporary workers
The gap between union and non-union wages is quite marked and it is growing.  The advantage of being employed in a unionized workplace is especially marked in Ontario and the benefit is growing especially quickly there.  Women and temporary workers especially benefit from union coverage, and, in Ontario, the union premium for women workers and temporary workers is growing at a significant pace.

Update: Someone asked me about if union dues offset the union advantage.  For the extra $1.71 an hour earned by unionized employees over the last five years compared to non-union employees, take off about 3 cents in union dues.  (If union dues are  1.5%, the exact amount would be  2.57 cents. With 2% union dues, the amount would be 3.42 cents.)  And a lot of that would be gained back as union dues are tax exempt.  

Photo: ecstaticist


Popular posts from this blog

Ford government plans to deepen privatization of hospital and home care services: Bill 175

The proposed reforms through Bill 175 will privatize health care services, weaken public oversight, remove legislative protections, undermine home care working conditions, and unleash an untested, home care experiment. Chaos beckons.Bill 175 is permissive, allowing a laissez-faire framework for home and community care.  It repeals the more detailed Home Care and Community Services Act, 1994 and leaves most details to policy or regulation. Deviously, the government has made the Bill (Connecting People to Home and Community Care Act, 2020) little more than an empty shell that doesn't even establish a new home and community act.  So, for example, the Home Care Bill of Rights is not in the proposed legislation.  Instead, it may be put into regulation.  This approach removes the public accountability that comes with legislation.  Regulations and policies are changed with little public consultation.  One would think that in today’s world a Home Care Bill of Rights would not be removed fr…

Ontario revenue up $1.5 billion since November - but no new health care spending announced

Ontario’s third quarter finances came out yesterday.  They confirm that although planned health care funding has increased $404.1 million since the 2019/20 Budget, no further increase has been achieved since November's Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. 

While the lack of new progress since the fall is disappointing, the $404.1 million is a 0.64% funding increasefor health care since the Budget.  Total health care funding for 2019/20 is now planned to increase 3.1% since 2018/19.
Also notable: Total revenue is projected to be $157.2 billion in 2019–20, $3.1 billion higher than the 2019 Budget projection and $1.68 billion higher than expected in the fall 2019 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review. Program expenses are $2.45 billion higher than in the 2019/20 Budget. The total increase for the year compared to last year is $3.9 billion (so far).  So, in the Budget, program funding was increased 0.91%, while, since then, program funding was increased a …

Ford government will not spend $2 billion of its budget -- deficit on track to fall $3 billion

As usual, the provincial government is under-spending its (revised) budget.  Based on figures for provincial expenditures for the the first nine months of the fiscal year, the government-funded Financial Accountability Office (FAO) estimates that the government will under-spend its budget by about $2 billion this year.
While that sounds like quite a bit -- it is actually less than usual.  Over the last ten years, the province has spent $3.3 billion less than budgeted on average.

Combined with the expected non-use of the government’s $1 billion "reserve" (the reserve is an amount set aside every year for unexpected expenses), the FAO estimates the deficit will be only $6.1 billion, almost $3 billion less than predicted in the government’s own, very recent third-quarter report. 
Health care expenditures are under-spent by $400 million (0.9%) through the first three quarters of the fiscal year, primarily due to under-spending on LHINs for hospitals, LTC, home care, etc. (0.5…