Declaring Public Services 'Essential' Leads to Higher Wage Costs: C.D. Howe Institute

    TORONTO, Sept. 11 /CNW/ - Designating public services as "essential" may
be aimed at protecting public safety by guaranteeing service availability, but
it can be costly to the public purse, according to a report released today by
the C. D. Howe Institute. Evidence from across Canada shows that declaring a
public service to be essential drives up negotiated wage increases by 13
percent, drives up hourly wages by up to 0.8 percent and does not necessarily
reduce strikes or other job actions. To draw these conclusions, reported in
"No Free Ride: The Cost of Essential Services Designation," Policy Analyst
Benjamin Dachis examined 6,721 public sector contract settlements involving at
least 500 employees over the last 30 years, and reports on what happens when
services are designated essential. Toronto City Councillors are set to debate
whether to ask the province to designate the Toronto Transit Commission as an
essential service: Dachis says policymakers should weigh the cost of that
designation against the uncertain benefits of service continuation.

    The report is available at:

For further information:

For further information: Benjamin Dachis, Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe
Institute, (416) 865-1904,

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