Rocky road forecasted for bargaining tables

Wage increases hit major slump
By Sabrina Nanji
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 03/03/2014

UNIONS ARE FACING a volatile and tumultuous time ahead at the bargaining table, something made all the more clear after the latest numbers revealed wage hikes have hit a new low.

Recent numbers from Employment and Social Development Canada show that in 2013, wage improvements were the lowest they have been over the previous 16 years — with average pay increases for unionized workers sitting at 1.4 per cent. In the public sector, average pay hikes sat at 0.9 per cent, while private sector workers saw gains averaging 2.1 per cent.

Austerity agendas touted by governments, coupled with wounds still not yet healed from the 2008 recession, has ended up in modest wage adjustments across the board in unionized environments.