Civil servants next on wage freeze list: McGuinty

August 31, 2012 - All News

Premier Dalton McGuinty says his wage freeze crusade is setting civil servants as its next target.
“We’re coming,” he told reporters Friday while campaigning in next Thursday’s by-election.
Once the minority Liberal government passes its controversial legislation to impose contracts on teachers and ban strikes for two years and gets doctors “back to the table” for negotiations, efforts will centre on the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and a federation representing managers and professionals in the civil service, McGuinty said.
He took a shot at Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak for pushing an across-the-board wage freeze for all workers in the broader public sector, saying such a move could run into court challenges unless talks are held first.
But with a $14.8-billion deficit and credit-rating agencies concerned about Ontario’s finances, Tory MPP Michael Harris (Kitchener-Conestoga) said securing wage freezes one-by-one will take too long.
“This is a wage freeze on training wheels,” he said as McGuinty talked with a Waterloo lawyer, his wife and their children in an upscale home Friday morning.
The teacher bill could go to a final vote Sept. 10, or within a few days after. Hudak has vowed his party will support it even though it is “half a loaf.”
Aside from a wage freeze, the bill would impose three unpaid days off on teachers in exchange for allowing younger teachers to move up through the existing salary grid as they gain experience and halve their annual sick day entitlement to 10. Unused days could no longer be banked and cashed out at retirement.