Ontario’s public sector workers’ pay is increasing by about 10 per cent across the board. The opportunity comes in the wake of wage renegotiations after the province’s capping of salary increases was declared unconstitutional.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) said this week that public sector workers are getting their biggest pay increase since 2012 after an arbitrator ruled in favor of the union. The union represents 30,000 government employees working for various ministries and agencies of the government.
The arbitrator asked the government employees to pay a 3 percent hike for 2022. Salary increases by 3.5 percent for 2023. Apart from this, the government employees are getting another 3 percent increased salary for the current year.
The increase replaces a negotiated 1 percent pay increase from 2022 to 2024, the union said. The 1 percent salary increase was in place while the law imposing the salary increase cap was in effect.
OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick said in a press release that this was made possible by the steadfast stance of UPS members. Because, they have always refused to withdraw from their demands. The result went in our favor because of their stubborn stance. As a result, the salaries of these workers are increasing the most in almost 12 years.
The union said the pay hike would reverse the damaging effects of the Ford government’s Bill 124. The 2019 Act capped government employee salary increases at 1 percent for three years.
In 2022, a judge said the law violated petitioners’ right to organize and bargain. Arbitrators have since ruled in favor of more exorbitant wage increases to several groups. However, the government has appealed the decision, which is still awaiting ruling.