TORONTO Ontario Premier Dalton McGuintys first budget has brought in a virtual public sector wage freeze, says Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario President Sid Ryan.
Our members, who work in hospitals, schools, municipalities, universities, utilities, long-term care facilities and many other public services, are going to feel the squeeze of new user fees at the same time as their employers will be telling them that the province hasnt provided enough for improvements to their wages and benefits, Ryan said.
The increases to most public services in the Liberal budget are far below what is needed to meet growing demand, the effects of inflation and to make up for years of cuts under the Mike Harris/Ernie Eves Tories, he said.
Employers are already attacking our benefit plans at the bargaining table, he said. Delisting health services and bringing in OHIP premiums is going to make that attack even more intense.
Even worse, workers in hospitals and other public facilities face a continued threat that their jobs could be turned over to the private sector with the flatlining of capital budgets over the next four years.
That means P3s, public-private partnerships, are going to the name of the game for renewing crumbling infrastructure, he said.
This budget is a huge disappointment overall to all of us who were expecting real change from this government, said Ryan. Dalton McGuinty has missed the opportunity to begin rebuilding strong communities in this province.
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Sid Ryan, President