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RSS FeedsOPG workers dodge Tories´ cap on wage hikes until 2022
(The Star Fashion & Style)


15 november 2019 01:56:28

OPG workers dodge Tories´ cap on wage hikes until 2022
(The Star Fashion & Style)

Thousands of Ontario Power Generation employees will get raises that are twice the limit set out in a new law passed by the Progressive Conservative government to cap public-sector wages, the Star has learned.That’s thanks to a loophole in Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy’s Bill 124, which outlaws settlements of more than one per cent annually for most public servants for three years.While the legislation is retroactive to June 5, an independent arbitrator awarded heftier raises to the 3,100 Society of United Professions (SUP) members in a decision released last Thursday.Coincidentally, that was the same day the bill passed at Queen’s Park — and the day before its provisions came into effect.As a result, the unionized engineers, scientists, and other white-collar workers will receive two per cent wage increases next year and an additional two per cent in January 2021 with another 0.8 per cent the following November.“OPG respects the collective bargaining process and will respect the arbitration decision,” said Neal Kelly, a spokesman for the Crown-owned electricity utility, whose employees are covered under Bill 124.“Throughout this process, OPG has been committed to achieving a fair and reasonable agreement that recognizes the operational needs of the company,” said Kelly.“The interest arbitration award was made by the independent arbitrator,” he said, referring to Kevin Burkett, a former alternate chair of the Ontario Labour Relations Board and one of Canada’s most prominent arbitrators.It affects about 36 per cent of OPG’s workforce. Most of the employees appear on the annual Sunshine List of public servants who earn more than $100,000 a year.Bethlenfalvy’s office said the settlement just made it under the wire thanks to a provision in the legislation.“For arbitration awards issued after June 5, but before the act came into force (on Nov. 8), the moderation period w ...

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