Union Communication Bill 124 Sept 2022 Update
As previously communicated in our bargaining related communications and updates regarding bill 124. The constitutional challenge to the government’s wage-cap legislation (Bill 124) is now in process. The constitutional challenge began Monday in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice and will be heard over the next 10 days.
The Union Coalition filed the challenge in 2020 arguing the bill violates a section of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that protects meaningful collective bargaining. The Ontario Nurses Association also argues the bill is discriminatory against women and violates sex and gender equality in two other sections of the charter. The unions filed evidence in its challenge in 2021.
The coalition involves 10 applicants – Largely unions including OPSEU/SEFPO, representing teachers, nurses, public services employees, universities and their faculty and engineers and among dozens of other professions. In total more than 40 Ontario unions have filed evidence in its constitution challenge against the Ford Government over the legislation.
Bill 124 caps total public sector compensation (Salaries, benefits, etc..) at one per cent. At a time when inflation is at a forty-year high by limiting the compensation increases that can be gained through the bargaining process, the Ford government is violating the right to meaningful collective bargaining guaranteed the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In the event the bill is repealed under the “Wage Reopener Clause” in the Collective Agreement we will go back to the bargaining table. We will do our best to provide any updated information we receive while the process unfolds. You can also check the union website for updates.
OPSEU/SEFPO Local 565.
Manitoba civil service union wins retroactive pay hikes after fighting wage freeze
Some 11,000 Manitoba civil servants have won retroactive pay raises after fighting government demands for a wage freeze.
An arbitration board has awarded annual pay hikes of between 0.5 per cent and two per cent going back to 2019, plus interest.
The Progressive Conservative government tried to impose a two-year wage freeze on new contracts across the public sector starting in 2017, with small hikes in years three and four.
The Manitoba Government and General Employees’ Union went to court and won the right to arbitration for its members, and the arbitration board handed down its ruling Wednesday.
A bill to enact the wage freeze was a key factor in former premier Brian Pallister’s plan to balance the budget, but his replacement, Heather Stefanson, is in the process of repealing the bill
Union president Kyle Ross says the court battle was worth the effort.
“We knew that the only path to a fair settlement was through the interest arbitration process,” Ross said in a written statement Wednesday night.
“Going that route and fighting the wage freezes has paid off — civil service members will get wage increases in every year of this four-year contract.”
The collective agreement expires next year, and Ross says that means the two sides will be back at the bargaining table soon to work toward a new deal
CBC News Link: Manitoba civil service union wins retroactive pay hikes after fighting wage freeze | CBC News