Small businesses support Ontario public sector wage freeze

TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) welcomes today's announcement by the Ontario Government to freeze public sector wages for two years.

"We are pleased that Finance Minister Duncan has taken this tough, but necessary step to fix Ontario's finances," said CFIB president Dan Kelly. "While Ontario needs to do a lot more to balance the budget, the Minister deserves credit for having the courage to stand up for taxpayers against the avalanche of union propaganda that will likely ensue from this announcement".

CFIB has repeatedly made the case for fiscal restraint. Earlier this year, we made the following recommendations to help eliminate the province's $14.8 billion deficit:

  • Ensure public sector compensation levels are aligned with private sector norms. CFIB's latest Wage Watch study found that provincial civil servants earn on average about 30 per cent more in wages and benefits than their private sector counterparts;

  • Amend the existing arbitration system to respect the public's ability to pay; and

  • Move from a "defined benefit" to a "defined contribution" approach to public sector pensions, and design a fully voluntary, low-cost, and easy-to-administer Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPP) for Ontarians to save for their retirement.

"Most Ontario families understand the need for restraint, even if some of the public sector unions still don't get it," said CFIB Ontario vice president Satinder Chera. "I hope the three party leaders can set aside their differences and work together to pass the Protecting Public Services Act."

As Canada's largest association of small- and medium-sized businesses, CFIB is Powered by Entrepreneurs™. Established in 1971, CFIB takes direction from more than 109,000 members in every sector nationwide, giving independent business a strong and influential voice at all levels of government and helping to grow the economy.

SOURCE: CANADIAN FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

For further information:

To arrange an interview with Dan Kelly, please contact Gisele Lumsden at 416 222 8022 or email public.affairs@cfib.ca.

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