Skip to main content

About Bill 124 - Public Health Ontario

Bill 124 limits compensation increases at one per cent a year for three years

The legislation limits public sector workers’ compensation increases to a maximum of one per cent a year for three years—including for unionized workers as their contracts expire.

What this means is that when their contracts expire, unionized public sector workers’ compensation increases are capped at one per cent a year for the following three years, regardless of what workers may negotiate with employers through collective bargaining.

For AMAPCEO members at Public Health Ontario (PHO), this means the period is from April 1, 2022–March 31, 2025.

Increases based on merit or performance do not count towards the one per cent cap.

 

Government steamrolling workers’ constitutionally protected rights

When we sit down with employers, AMAPCEO has demonstrated, time and again, our ability to achieve reasonable collective agreements. The fact is: free and fair collective bargaining works.

The bill—which the government called the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019steamrolls the constitutionally protected rights of public servants in Ontario.

 

More than one million of Ontario’s public sector workers are affected

Bill 124 affects more than a million public sector workers, including AMAPCEO members in the Ontario Public Service and in each broader public sector unit.

It also affects teachers, education workers, university and college employees, hospital staff, nurses, long-term care staff, children’s aid society staff, and more.

 

AMAPCEO and other unions are challenging Bill 124 in court

AMAPCEO is a founding member in a coalition of more than forty Ontario unions who have launched a constitutional challenge against the bill.

Similar legislation in this province and in others have been found unconstitutional, most notably Manitoba’s Bill 28 (introduced in 2017) and Ontario’s Bill 115 (introduced in 2012).

Evidence was filed in February 2021, and the case continues to go through the courts. The coalition expects hearings to begin in the fall of 2022.

In the meantime, AMAPCEO leadership continues to voice its opposition to Bill 124 and call for its repeal.

 

Bill 124 devalues public services and those who deliver them

We’re already seeing the disastrous results of Bill 124 on Ontario’s health system, where it has worsened pressures on the province’s nurses and hospitals after decades of cuts and underfunding compounded by the crisis of the pandemic. 

Each of Ontario’s public sector workers bring their all, every day, and especially during the pandemic. AMAPCEO members have risen to the occasion, using our creativity, experience, and dedication to respond to the emergency in ingenious new ways and keep public services operational—all while balancing our own family responsibilities and the whiplash stop-start of remote work and learning.

Bill 124 devalues public servants’ critical contributions to the province and its citizens. It weakens Ontario’s already thread-bare public services.

 

Bill 124 also disproportionately affects women

Many of the positions affected by Bill 124 are predominately held by women. The same is true for AMAPCEO members, of which nearly two-thirds are women. Meanwhile, some male-dominated public service fields, such as policing, are unaffected by the legislation, and seeing wage increases as high as 11.1 per cent over five years.

 

You can help by supporting your bargaining team

AMAPCEO’s bargaining teams are working hard to making the best possible improvements to our collective agreements.

And while fair wage increases are of critical importance to each of us, they are only one of the elements of the contract that we can negotiate. We also aim to secure more flexibility for remote work, advance equity, enhance benefits, bolster rights for contract staff, and improve health and safety in our workplaces.

While Bill 124 will be decided in the courts long after bargaining is concluded, if we are to make strides otherwise, it's critical you support your bargaining team. Union leadership and local AMAPCEO activists may ask you to do so by taking specific actions to demonstrate your solidarity. This could include displaying a flag on your desk, using a union background during a video call, or attending an event. 

More information on bargaining to come! Make sure your personal email with AMAPCEO is up to date by visiting your Member Dashboard. If you need to add or change any information, click Edit Profile, make your changes and click Save.