TORONTO, Jan. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - The unions representing 600 striking York
Region transit workers have responded with anger to a York Regional
councillor's claim that he is entitled to a 43 per cent pay raise
because he now earns less than he would in surrounding vicinities.
Whitchurch-Stouffville's part-time mayor Wayne Emmerson has said he will
vote next Tuesday to raise his annual salary from $42,149 to $62,148.
Emmerson also receives an undisclosed additional salary as a member of
York Region council.
ATU Local 1587 President Ray Doyle and ATU Local 113 President Bob
Kinnear have condemned Emmerson's position in view of his position on
the wages of striking York Region transit workers, who are paid 30 per
cent less than transit workers in Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto.
"Mayor Emmerson has said that he does not believe the wages of York
Region transit workers should be compared to those paid to transit
workers in surrounding communities who are doing essentially the same
work," said Doyle and Kinnear. "Yet he claims that his salary should
match those of other part-time mayors in neighbouring communities."
"What makes this particularly offensive is that York Region transit
workers are not even asking for parity with nearby transit workers,"
the union leaders said. "The so-called 'offers' from the private
contractors would actually increase the 30 per cent wage gap between
here and the rest of the GTA transit sector. We're just trying to hold
our heads above water while the contractors are trying to push us
"Emmerson's stance is unbelievable hypocrisy that even York Region
Chairman Bill Fisch should condemn. Fisch has publicly scoffed at the
very idea that York Region transit workers should compare themselves to
nearby transit workers. Let's see what he has to say about Emmerson. We
predict Fisch will be silent because he does not want public
examination of his own salary."
According to the Ontario Public Sector Salary Disclosure website, Fisch was paid just under $200,000 a year in 2009, making him the
highest-paid municipal leader in Canada. But because he is not directly
elected by the residents of York Region, his salary is never reported
with those of elected mayors.
"Why York Region residents put up with these hypocrites, who will not
even allow the transit strike to end through a neutral arbitration
process, is a mystery that may be resolved in the next municipal
election. Except of course for the chief hypocrite Fisch, who holds
power without being elected."
SOURCE Amalgamated Transit Union, Local 1587
For further information:
ATU Local 1587: Ray Doyle, 416-986-4103. ATU Local 113, Bill Reno, 416-223-7366.