CUPE Ontario cautiously welcomed Premier Wynne’s recent promise to build good labour relations following the crisis created by Bill 115. Today’s Throne Speech spoke about respecting collective bargaining rights, including a fair system of contract arbitration.
“This is a starting point, but the proof will be in the pudding,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. “The Premier must act on her commitment to respect bargaining rights and impartial contract arbitration, and Ontario needs a budget that will build the public services that support our communities and our economy and which create the good jobs that Ontarians need.”
Before proroguing the legislature, the Liberals proposed legislation that would take away the democratic right to free collective bargaining from the broader public sector, and go further by attacking the independent contract arbitration system that resolves bargaining issues for workers who aren’t allowed to strike.
“Collective bargaining works, for all Ontarians. It raises working standards in union and non-union workplaces alike. Parental leave, health and safety standards and same-sex benefits, were first negotiated at the bargaining table,” said Hahn. “We can’t let any government take away collective bargaining rights, including independent contract arbitration.”
On the economy, Premier Wynne has said she wants to make the Ontario number one for economic growth. The only way to do that is to stop attacking the rights of workers who support and build the economy, raising social assistance and disability support rates to lift people out of poverty, and end the government’s failed austerity strategy, which has put the brakes on economic growth.
“The government’s strategy so far has not created the kind of good, full-time jobs with benefits that support families in this province,” said Hahn. “If the premier truly wants to make Ontario number one for growth, then she needs a strategy that will stimulate growth and build public services to support that growth.”
For more information, please contact:
Craig Saunders, CUPE Communications, 416-576-7316