Public Sector Wage Increase Bill

On June 5, the Ford government introduced Bill 124, a bill that imposes a one percent cap on public sector wage increases for three years. The following is a summary of its implications for the APUO and its members. 

Salary, progress-through-the-ranks, and benefits

Bill 124 does not apply to collective agreements ratified before June 5, 2019. APUO members can expect the two percent wage increase negotiated and approved in our collective agreement last year. 

Our collective agreement expires on April 30, 2021. From that date, if passed, Bill 124 will have an impact on APUO members. Based on our interpretation of the bill and the information available, the one percent salary cap will apply to nominal salary and benefits. In other words, in our next round of collective bargaining, all monetary proposals adopted cannot exceed a one percent increase. 

We would like to point out that Bill 124 imposes a wage reduction on public sector workers. Indeed, a one percent increase is below the annual increases in the cost of living. The APUO finds it deplorable that the Ford government is attacking public service workers instead of delivering a solution to its revenue problem to balance the province’s finances. 

Gender pay gap

During the last round of collective bargaining, the APUO signed a letter of understanding with the Central Administration to create a joint committee tasked with investigating gender wage gaps and proposing possible solutions to rectify this injustice. As per our interpretation, we do not expect Bill 124 to be a barrier to ensuring the committee can fulfill its mandate.  

Although Bill 124 seems to have very few implications for APUO members in the short term, we will continue to monitor it closely. Bill 124 will not be adopted until the fall when the legislative session at Queen’s Park resumes. In the meantime, the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) and the APUO will fight Bill 124, and we encourage you to do the same as APUO members and as citizens 

Here is the press release from OCUFA, as well as a communication drafted by the OCUFA Executive Director analyzing Bill 124.