Current interest arbitration system is unfair.
TORONTO, March 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The Large Urban Mayors' Caucus of
Ontario (LUMCO) welcomes MPP Jim Wilson's Bill, the Public Sector Capacity to Pay Act, 2013, as part of a serious discussion on the interest arbitration system in
Ontario. This Bill is largely based on input provided from Ontario's
municipalities and if passed, or adopted by the Government, will bring
fairness to the province's interest arbitration system.
"This is the fourth attempt at fixing the arbitration system in this
province. Municipalities have spoken and it's time for all provincial
elected officials to start listening and working together to improve
the system," said Mayor Hazel McCallion, Chair of LUMCO. "No one is
arguing the important job these workers do, we are just asking for the
fairness to return to their contracts and the way they are awarded."
The Public Sector Capacity to Pay Act, 2013, includes proposals from Ontario's municipalities such as:
New criteria to determine the comparative fiscal health of the
municipality and that community's capacity to pay,
Ensuring arbitrators provide written reasons for decisions and
demonstrate proper consideration of municipality's fiscal health,
Improved timelines for decisions,
Appointment of a single arbitrator, and
Improved process for pre-hearing and submissions.
"The reality is that these arbitrated contracts are essentially unfair
to both the taxpayers who are funding them and other unionized and
non-unionized workers who receive substantially less in salary
adjustments," said Mayor Rick Goldring, Chair of the LUMCO Emergency
Services subcommittee. "These municipalities also face the reality that
despite their population, financial wellbeing and other unique
features, they face arbitration awards based on unrealistic
comparators. This Bill is a good start at addressing the fairness of
LUMCO is committed to working with all members of the Ontario
Legislature to return fairness and balance to the interest arbitration
"At some point, for all municipalities with emergency services, these
large arbitrated awards start to jeopardize other operating expenses,
such as infrastructure, social services and maintenance," said Mayor
Carl Zehr, Kitchener. "Arbitration decisions are inconsistent with
what is negotiated for other public and private sector employees."
Taxpayers in all municipalities, large and small, deserve accountable
and transparent decisions and all elected officials both provincially
and municipally need to work together to ensure this happens.
SOURCE: The Large Urban Mayors' Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO)
For further information:
Mayor Hazel McCallion
City of Mississauga
Chair of LUMCO
Mayor Rick Goldring
City of Burlington
Chair of the LUMCO Emergency Services subcommittee
Mayor Carl Zehr
City of Kitchener