It has been said that “the measure of a man is what he does with power.” I think that is true of political parties as well. It is only when they get their hands on the levers of power that you can see their true nature. Or maybe it is just as Lord Acton once said—that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Posts Tagged ‘wage freeze’
DATE: October 23, 2012
Prior to Premier Dalton McGuinty’s decision last week to prorogue the Ontario legislature, CLAC prepared a detailed letter to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan urging the government to carefully consider the affect that proposed wage freeze legislation sector will have on front line workers in the broader public sector.
I am writing you on behalf of the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) and its four Ontario locals that represent workers in the health sector. CLAC represents approximately 8,000 workers in the public sector who would be covered by the proposed legislation known as The Protecting Public Services Act.
Last week Dwight Duncan, Ontario’s minister of finance, sent a letter to the operators of Ontario’s healthcare facilities outlining the government’s intention to freeze funding for compensation for the next two years. In a tightly funded industry, this can only mean job losses since built in costs will continue to rise even with a wage freeze. Freezing wages is simply an attempt to maintain the status quo—and have employees pay for it.
The argument that the deficit belongs to all of us and that we all need to be part of the solution is seductive and sounds rational. Except that that the government is one of the most egregious offenders in holding the line.
Remember the $1 billion e-health boondoggle or the more recent $190 million spent on a cancelled natural gas plant? It was the government that made the secret deals and outrageous settlements. It was the government that gave merit pay bonuses to the highest paid members of the public service.
The public sector consists of a broad range of employees—from those making $12 per hour to those making $300 per hour. To treat them all the same is unrealistic and grossly unfair.
It’s no secret that governments around the world have been overspending for years, but especially so since the economic crash of 2008. Many are now asking public sector workers to share in the pain of digging out from under huge debt loads by accepting wage freezes.
The Ontario government has asked the public sector to accept a two-year wage freeze, but application of this freeze has been haphazard at best. Some public sector workers have continued to receive pay increases while others have not. And those on the have-not list are some of the lowest-paid workers.
Public sector workers are not the cause of deficit spending. Their only crime is that they have continued to do their jobs—educating our children, taking care of our elderly, and picking up our garbage.