Canada: Government will seek two per cent wage cuts from broad swath of public sector workers - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada Government will seek two per cent wage cuts from broad swath of public sector workers

08:00  30 october  2019
08:00  30 october  2019 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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The government of Alberta is continuing public - sector wage arbitrations on Thursday, with an expected wage reduction of two per cent expected for While Jason Kenney’s 2019 provincial budget plans were announced last week with a number of cuts to the public sector , Minister of Finance

We define low- wage workers as workers whose hourly wage rates are so low that even if they worked Low- wage workers are different in important ways from workers earning higher wages . We define moderate- wage jobs as those with a wage between the low- wage cut -off and two times

a man wearing a suit and tie: AUPE president Guy Smith. AUPE president Guy Smith.

The Alberta government will seek two-to-five per cent wage rollbacks in arbitration with the vast majority of public employees, the province’s finance minister said.

It’s a move to bring public sector wages in line with their counterparts in other provinces, Finance Minister Travis Toews said Tuesday.

“I have a great deal of respect for so many of our public sector who delivered competently and in a very committed way to Albertans every day,” Toews told reporters at the legislature.

“We want to find a responsible way forward on behalf of all Albertans so we can deliver high-quality services into the future.”

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Public - sector unions are some of the world's most powerful interest groups. Many of them have large memberships Brazilians joke that public - sector workers turn up on the first day, hang their jackets on the back of Governments almost everywhere—particularly in the rich world—are being forced to cut back But will governments have the courage to tackle the root causes of the problem (such as

The rejection of a contract including a 3.5 per cent wage cut by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers may embolden other unions to That was how Donna Harpauer, Saskatchewan's minister of finance, described the likelihood of public - sector workers to accept the government 's

Condemnation of the move came swiftly from the opposition NDP and public sector unions, who said the United Conservative Party government is reneging on promises to leave front-line health and education services in tact.

“We’re discouraged, disappointed and angry, but I don’t think anything this government does anymore surprises me,” said Alberta Union of Public Employees (AUPE) president Guy Smith. AUPE is Alberta’s largest union, with more than 95,000 members.

“All it does it just makes our members more angry – and believe me they were angry before. This just increases that to a level I haven’t seen in a very long time,” Smith said.

Some workers affected include nurses, teachers, social workers, hospital support staff, prison guards, conservation officers, toxicologists, restaurant inspectors, therapists and sheriffs.

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He said: “When deciding what to do, government will weigh public concern over pay equity for groups like nurses, and experts’ concerns regarding public Bryson said the private sector had seen unprecedented falls in real wages after the financial crisis and then the public sector followed that

The Ontario government is moving to cap wage hikes for more than a million public - sector workers to no more than 1 per cent a year as the province enters A spokeswoman for Ontario Premier Doug Ford said the government would be moving a motion on Thursday to break for the summer until Oct.

Battle began with Bill 9

The government in June passed Bill 9 , the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act. It was supposed to pause any binding arbitration hearings with public sector unions until Oct. 31 while the newly elected government had a chance to dive deeply into Alberta’s books. About 70,000 workers had to wait to find out if an arbitrator would award them pay raises.

Saying that bill broke negotiated contracts, unions challenged the delay in court. Most recently, the court of appeal ruled in the government’s favour.

With the arbitration pause set to end Thursday, Toews said Alberta’s dire financial position has prompted government to ask arbitrators to cut wages by at least two per cent.

The MacKinnon blue ribbon panel report into provincial spending pointed to some Alberta public sector workers earning significantly more than their counterparts in other provinces. Toews said his government wants to gradually bring Alberta salaries to parity.

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So public sector workers are actually paid significantly better than their peers in the private sector – peers whose salaries and businesses pay the taxes that fund government to pay for the public sector in the first place. Accounting for so-called " worker characteristics", public sector pay is around 4 per

In his remarks, Mr Asamoah noted that the issue of minimum wage was extremely important to the leadership of the TUC and urged employers to comply with the payment of the new minimum wage . Mr Asamoah also urged government to recognize the sacrifices being made by labour and to enforce

Health-care workers such as paramedics, mental health therapists, pharmacists and others represented by the Health Sciences Association of Alberta have wages substantially higher than other provinces, he said.

‘Bad faith’

Guy Smith said lowering wages will take money out of the economy and communities.

He said the government notifying the public and union members of its intentions via a Tuesday press release is “bad faith” and negotiating through the media. AUPE may look at legal challenges, he said.

United Nurses of Alberta (UNA), which represents more than 30,000 registered nurses, was told Tuesday the government had directed Alberta Health Services to change its bargaining position with UNA from a zero-per-cent increase to a wage rollback of three per cent, union president Heather Smith said.

The “receding horizon” of first offering zero per cent wage increases, then announcing a three per cent cut, would be tantamount to bad faith and an “unwarranted heavy hand,” she said.

“Even Ralph Klein never used the legislative authority hammer to shatter collective agreements and bargaining processes,” Heather Smith said.

Alberta unions ramp up fight against government cuts

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A MILLION public sector workers are to get wage hikes of up to 3.5 per cent as Theresa May bins the pay cap for good, The Sun can reveal. The PM will today announce the biggest increases for squaddies, teachers, doctors, police and prison officers for nearly a decade as Government breaks

If the government paid public sector workers their net wage , without any pretence that they are Every cent is paid by private sector workers . How, then, does society maintain its democratic Denying government workers the vote would also have the effect of raising the prestige of the

Alberta Teachers’ Association president Jason Schilling was similarly vexed, saying in a Tuesday statement the government fails to respect teachers and is treating them unfairly.

“Teachers are angry and frustrated,” Schilling said. “They are tired of being told that they will have to do more with less, yet again.”

The association was already irked with a provincial budget that froze education funding for growing schools for the next four years and hinted at wresting away control of their pension .

Teachers are heading to arbitration mid-November to determine the pay in the final year of their contract.

UNA’s arbitration with Alberta Health Services, Covenant Health, Lamont Health Care Centre and the Bethany Group in Camrose is set to take place on Nov. 22 and 23.

Arbitrators are independent agents who hear arguments from employer and employee groups before ruling on issues in dispute.

– with files from The Canadian Press

jfrench@postmedia.com

lijohnson@postmedia.com

Legislature passes Ford government's bill to cap public sector wage increases .
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