Government steamrolls employees’ right to negotiate
Publish date: Wednesday, June 05, 2019 update
Move affects hundreds of thousands of public sector employees
TORONTO, ON -- AMAPCEO, the union representing 14,000 of Ontario’s professional employees, is blasting the government for enacting legislation that steamrolls those employees’ right to negotiate their compensation.
The Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 sets wage increases at a maximum of one per cent a year for three years for Ontario’s public sector employees—including unionized workers as their contracts expire.
While it does not impact current AMAPCEO collective agreements, if passed, the Act would affect future AMAPCEO contracts.
“This move by the government steamrolls the constitutionally-protected rights of hundreds of thousands of public servants in Ontario,” AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer said.
“Collective bargaining has proven to be the best way to achieve fair contracts for all parties,” he said. “We will staunchly defend our current contracts and our right to negotiate future contracts.”
The union is consulting with its legal counsel to determine next steps. It will also be providing feedback to the government over the summer.
AMAPCEO members are the independent, non-partisan, professional employees who are working for Ontario. They are the policy analysts, scientists, epidemiologists, and economists who work tirelessly to ensure Ontarians receive the best, most cost-efficient public services.
“If this government truly values the role of public servants in delivering critical services to Ontarians, they’ll rethink this proposed legislation and protect their employees’ right to bargain fairly and collectively,” Bulmer said.
The wage increases that AMAPCEO members have negotiated with the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Employer are modest, fair, and reasonable.
In fact, during a recent negotiation settlement, the OPS Employer agreed—describing AMAPCEO’s current contract as “modest […] fair, and reasonable,” and “in line with current economic and labour market trends.”
The union also questions the government’s transparency around the recent public sector compensation “consultations”.
“It’s clear that the government entered those ‘consultations’ with an agenda in mind,” Bulmer said.
“Ontario already has the lowest per capita spending on public services in the country, with the leanest public service by far,” Bulmer said. “AMAPCEO members—and in fact, all public servants—are already stretched thin. Taking away their right to bargain for their livelihood adds insult to injury.”
AMAPCEO’s collective agreements expire as follows:
- Health Quality Ontario (2020)
- Ontario Arts Council (2022)
- Office of the French Language Services Commissioner, now part of the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman (2022)
- Ontario Child Advocate, now part of the Office of the Ontario Ombudsman (2022)
- Ontario Public Service (2022)
- Public Health Ontario (2022)
- Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care (2023)
Jason Wagar, Communications Officer — firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 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).