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Labour council president says unions will fight Ford government salary cap

Henri Giroux, the President of the North Bay and District Labour Council, says the Ford government is behaving like a dictatorship with its Bill 124.

The Bill proposes giving public sector employees a one percent wage increase.

The legislation would take in not only government employees, but other institutions that get government funding like hospitals, colleges and universities.

“We strongly believe the Bill goes against collective bargaining,” Giroux said.

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“(Vic Fedeli) says we’re offering them 1% and it’s a really good deal.  But it’s the democracy of the whole situation.  He’s dictating to us what we can take and what we can’t take.”

Giroux says labour unions won’t accept this and adds the Ford government can’t tell labour and employers how to bargain.

Giroux also took exception to another statement from Fedeli where the Nipissing MPP says an average public sector employee earning about $64,000 a year will see a wage increase of $1,900 over three years.

Giroux says many public sector employees don’t earn the average dollar amount that Fedeli claims.

Asked about the Tories wanting to eliminate the $15-billion deficit, Giroux said the Ford government has a revenue problem and not a spending problem.

The statement is the opposite of what the Tories claimed was the problem with the former Liberal government.

When they served as the Official Opposition, the Progressive Conservatives repeated there was no revenue problem but rather there was a spending problem and the Liberals were spending far more money than they collected.

Giroux says the issue isn’t with the spending but with revenue and that the Tories are not collecting enough of it.

He says the Ford government can easily increase its revenue if it would stop fighting the carbon tax in the courts and if it would also tax the rich.

Giroux says labour unions will be addressing their members over the summer making them more aware of what Bill 124 means and how they should address the issue.

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