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OPS Employer on AMAPCEO members' compensation: “modest [...] fair, reasonable”

Publish date: Wednesday, May 08, 2019 update

AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer delivered a strong message to government representatives at the kick-off to Public Sector Compensation “Consultations” on Monday May 6.
In his opening remarks, President Bulmer highlighted the critical contributions that AMAPCEO members make, and described their compensation as “modest, fair, and reasonable,” and “in line with current economic and labour market trends.”
Bulmer added that the panel didn’t have to take his word for it, that they could take it from one of their own. The President went on to reveal that during a recent negotiation settlement, the OPS Employer had actually described AMAPCEO’s current contract as exactly that: “modest [...] fair, and reasonable, and “in line with current economic and labour market trends.”
President Bulmer proceeded to state that:

  1. “AMAPCEO’s current contracts were negotiated freely and in good faith, and it is the union’s intention to staunchly defend them.  AMAPCEO members deserve to know that the government intends to respect its employees’ contracts, as collective bargaining is not only a constitutionally-protected right, it has been proven to be the best way to achieve fair contracts for all parties.
  2. AMAPCEO members have already done their part to tackle Ontario’s deficit. Having accepted deals with the previous government that included zero percent wage increases between 2012 and 2016. And, that since then, increases have been, as noted, modest, fair, and reasonable. AMAPCEO will not be complicit in a race to the bottom.
  3. If this government is serious about cost savings, it should first look at the widespread use of private consultants, particularly in Information Technology. The Auditor-General has previously drawn attention to the waste of public funds on consultants when public servants can do the same work more effectively, and at an average cost of 30% less.
  4. The government has bought-out 477 professionals—from the OPS AMAPCEO unit alone—through the Transition Exit Initiative, which translates to an enormous loss of capacity while providing substantial cost savings. These 477 professionals represented more than 10,000 years of collective experience and corporate memory, which is now gone. And, the substantial ‘annual savings’ this downsizing achieves should rightly be credited to the AMAPCEO membership as yet another contribution.
  5. Ontario already had the leanest public service in Canada, by far. With the loss of 2,500 managers, professionals, and front-line workers since this government was elected, and ongoing hiring freeze in place, it’s going to be stretched even thinner.”

In Bulmer’s opinion, “the government is ostensibly 'consulting' with Ontario’s public sector employers and their bargaining agents 'on how compensation growth can be managed in a way that results in wage settlements that are modest, reasonable and sustainable.'”
"From AMAPCEO’s perspective – AMAPCEO’s already there.”
Consultation facilitators have provided assurances that the Government’s intentions are not to force open existing contracts at this time. However, they have shared that wage caps for upcoming contracts within the greater public sector may be achieved through legislation.
The consultation process is expected to conclude in late May. We will keep you informed of any updates between now and then.

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 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; Public Health Ontario; Health Quality Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).