A fresh coat of blue paint won’t hide Budget’s deep cuts

Publish date: Thursday, April 11, 2019 update

TORONTO, ON  -- New blue licence plates and a throwback logo can’t distract from years of planned cuts to public services, said AMAPCEO, the union representing Ontario’s 14,000 professional employees.

The Budget includes years of widespread cuts to every Ministry, especially to children and youth programs which are facing a reduction of almost 10 per cent over the next five years, without accounting for inflation.

“The government is continuing its attack on the province’s most vulnerable,” said AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer. “They started with the Ontario Child Advocate and are continuing with the province’s already overburdened social assistance programs. Make no mistake: these are real and deep cuts.”

Ontario’s program spending per capita is already acknowledged to be the lowest in the country.

AMAPCEO members plan and provide for a growing province. Indeed, population growth is projected to add at least 500,000 new residents to Ontario over the next five years.

Ontario’s new license plate slogan is “A Place to Grow”. At the same time, per capita spending on public services is projected to decline each year between 2019 and 2023.

The 2019 Budget document boasts that the Ontario Public Service has shrunk by nearly four per cent in the first nine months of this government's mandate with plans for further reductions. “This amounts to a loss of thousands of years of knowledge and experience from the public service,” Bulmer said. “It’s an enormous blow to the capacity of the public service that Ontarians rely on, each and every day.”

“At a time when Ontario needs the stewardship of public servants to guide this government’s radical overhauls in health, education, and across the broader public sector, this employer is paying some of its steadiest and most talented, experienced hands to leave the public service.”  

In terms of public servants’ compensation, the Budget offers little clarity. The Budget references the public sector “consultations” announced last week, stating that the feedback the government receives will be used to inform their next steps.

“We will engage in the recently announced “consultation” process. However, AMAPCEO members continue to do our part to manage compensation costs. We contributed to savings through a four-year wage freeze between 2013-2016,” Bulmer said. “AMAPCEO’s current contracts, in place until 2022, include fair and modest compensation increases.”

Bulmer added: “Quality public services require quality public servants and quality public servants deserve fair treatment and compensation.”

For more information:
Jason Wagar, Communications Officer — wagar@amapceo.on.ca, 416.595.4986

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in eleven cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth; Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; Public Health Ontario; Health Quality Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council and the Office of the French Language Services Commissioner.

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