Public sector arbitrations challenged

Criticism comes in wake of final pre-election budget in Ontario
By Gordon Sova
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 07/18/2011

Many commentators are criticizing Ontario arbitrators for granting wage increases to healthcare workers, despite the government’s pressure to freeze broader public sector wages for two years.

The most recent came on March 30 in the Toronto Star where Michael Warren, who is identified as a corporate board member and commentator, suggests that “Arbitrators should be required to demonstrate in their decisions that they have given full consideration to equality of compensation for comparable jobs in the private sector.”

The arbitration that got this all started, Norm Jesin’s interest award for the Service Employees International Union and Participating Nursing Homes, was for employees at a number of for-profit homes, including Extendicare, Leisure World, Chartwell and Revera.