TORONTO, Feb. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - Municipal leaders today called on all
three political parties to work together to make meaningful
improvements to the province's interest arbitration system.
At a news briefing today, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario,
joined by the Large Urban Mayors' Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO) and the
Mayors and Regional Chairs of Ontario (MARCO), shared a legislative
checklist aimed at addressing key issues.
"There were several legislative proposals tabled last year to make
changes to the interest arbitration system," said AMO President Russ
Powers. "As lawmakers reconvene, this checklist is an effort to make
sure they get it right. Taxpayers should see how decisions are arrived
at and what it means for their community."
Interest arbitration is the only legal way to settle contract
negotiation disputes with essential workers, such as police and
firefighters, who are not allowed to strike. Municipal governments are
frustrated with the priority that replication of agreements from one
community to another has over consideration of local fiscal
conditions. In addition, the length of the process can be long,
sometimes taking years before a decision is made.
AMO's legislative check list includes:
Streamlining the process and creating a 12-month timeline for
Clear, measurable criteria for evaluating the fiscal health of a
Requiring that arbitrators give priority to and provide clear, written
explanation of how the fiscal health of a community was considered.
"We value emergency service personnel. Their professional training and
responsibilities are recognized within a municipal government's overall
pay structure," said LUMCO Chair and Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion.
"It is reasonable that annual pay raises reflect the economic
circumstances of the community they serve, and to be comparable to
increases given to its other municipal employees."
"The changes do not direct an outcome for either party at interest
arbitration," noted Niagara Regional Chair Gary Burroughs. "Instead,
these changes mean community taxpayers know how their tax contributions
pay for the award and how the decision was made."
AMO is a non-profit organization representing almost all of Ontario's
444 municipal governments. AMO supports and enhances strong and
effective municipal government in Ontario and promotes the value of
municipal government as a vital and essential component of Ontario and
Canada's political system.
SOURCE: Association of Municipalities of Ontario
For further information:
Brian Lambie, AMO Media Contact, 416-729-5425, firstname.lastname@example.org
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