TORONTO Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty will be asking for trouble if he tries to impose a wage freeze or Dalton days on public sector workers, says the president of the provinces largest union.
Labour will not pay for the sins of the previous Tory government, sins like the spending fiasco at Ontario Power Generation, said CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan in response to McGuintys suggestion that workers practice restraint or face other actions that could include a wage freeze.
Our 200,000 members in Ontario made no gains at all during the 1990s, Ryan said. We couldnt get wage increases and in some cases saw our wages rolled back. Telling us now that we have to pay for Tory policies and the deficit they left behind is just not on.
McGuinty should learn from history and the mistakes of the Bob Rae government, Ryan said. CUPE Ontario was in the forefront of labours fight against so-called Rae days and other infringements on negotiated collective agreements.
If McGuinty is going to break any promises, he should break the silly one he made to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, he said.
Its time to stop talking about cutting and start talking about how we are going to rebuild our communities. The government should be addressing its revenue problem and how to replace the $14 billion taken away from provincial revenues by the Tory tax cuts.
CUPEs 200,000 members in Ontario work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, home care, schools, universities, municipalities and social services.
For more information, please contact:
Sid Ryan, President CUPE Ontario, 416-209-0066 (cell)
Pat Daley, CUPE Communications, 416-616-6142 (cell)