Monday, February 12, 2024
Update (February 13, 2024): The government announced that they will not appeal the Court's decision, and instead will be repealing Bill 124 "in its entirety" in the weeks ahead.
AMAPCEO welcomes today’s Ontario Court of Appeal decision affirming that the government’s wage-restraint law Bill 124 was unconstitutional.
The Court upheld the lower court’s ruling that the government violated public sector workers’ Charter-protected rights after a coalition of 40 unions filed a constitutional challenge to the law.
This is the government’s second loss in court over Bill 124, which sought to cap wage increases for public sector workers to just 1% a year for three years.
AMAPCEO, which represents almost 17,000 professionals working in the public interest in Ontario, urged the government to accept the Court’s decision as final.
“The government must not waste any more precious time or public dollars fighting Ontario’s public service professionals in court,” AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer said. “They must take this decision as final and leave it at that.”
Bulmer noted that the Court found Bill 124 was unconstitutional only for unionized employees, as collective bargaining is a Charter-protected right.
“The Coalition’s victory, and the Court’s finding that the law was unconstitutional for unionized workers, are further proof that we are stronger together,” Bulmer said. “They are an important reminder of the collective power of unions to protect employees’ interests.”
On January 26, AMAPCEO secured an arbitrated remedy of 6.5% for its 15,000 members in the Ontario Public Service who were affected by Bill 124. This is above the 3% that the union negotiated when it was under the restraints of Bill 124.
Today’s ruling allows AMAPCEO to more vigorously pursue remedies for other members of its other bargaining units negatively impacted by Bill 124.
The union will keep members updated on future developments, including progress on remedies for affected members in our smaller bargaining units.