Provincial government proposes wage cap for public service workers

'Will help to lower the deficit and protect thousands of jobs'

It’s called the Protecting a Sustainable Public sector for Future Generations Act – legislation introduced at Queen’s Park that, if passed, will cap public sector wage increases at an average one percent annually for each of the next three years.

It would affect both unionized and non-unionized workers.

The government says limiting raises will help to lower the deficit
and in turn, protect thousands of jobs it says would otherwise be at risk.

“We are taking these steps precisely so we can protect vital services and the workers who deliver them,” said Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy. “If we do not take this action, we could be putting tens of thousands of jobs at risk, which our government refuses to do.”

In a release, the government notes “public sector compensation represents roughly half of all government expenditures, totaling over $72 billion annually. By taking steps to ensure increases in public sector compensation reflect the fiscal reality of the province, the government is working to protect jobs, workers and vital services, now and as the government tackles Ontario’s debt.”

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union says with 2% inflation, this isn’t a wage cap, it’s a wage cut.

The government maintains this approach will allow public sector employees to maintain eligibility for compensation increases and be able to negotiate terms and conditions.

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