Ontario Tories want arbitration rules changed
Ontario Conservative leader Tim Hudak speaks to the media at a press conference regarding the recent passing of the Ontario budget to avoid a summer election in Toronto on Wednesday, June 20, 2012. (The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette)
Published Tuesday, September 18, 2012 7:16AM EDT
TORONTO - Ontario's Progressive Conservatives want to force arbitrators to consider a community's ability to pay when they rule on public sector labour disputes.
Opposition Leader Tim Hudak says the Liberal government has ignored calls from municipalities to restructure the system so arbitrators consider the financial impact of their decisions.
Hudak says firefighters in Stratford were awarded a 20 per cent raise that will cost the community $1.5 million, while Toronto transit workers got a six per cent hike that will cost the city $100 million a year.
The Conservatives have introduced a private member's bill that would force arbitrators to consider such factors as a local unemployment rate and tax base before awarding pay hikes.
Hudak says the bill would also require the province to compile and publish the statistics the arbitrators would have to consider when making their decisions.
The Tories also want arbitrators to make their decisions on public sector labour disputes within three months, and to explain their decisions in writing.