MacLeod: OECTA Blows the Cover on Fake Liberal Wage Freeze
02 August 2012
“(This year’s budget allocation) provides no funding for any salary increases resulting from individual employee movement on the grid.”
- memo from the Ministry of Education to all Directors of Education, March 29, 2012
“A freeze to the salary grid is not the same as a wage freeze… The impact of a grid freeze is much more significant than that of a wage freeze…”
-Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association website, July 2012
QUEEN’S PARK – The McGuinty government can pretend they reached a net-zero wage increase deal with the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA), but documents show otherwise. The Liberals’ attempt to freeze wages failed because the deal did not include a salary grid freeze, Ontario PC Education Critic Lisa MacLeod said today.
“OECTA wouldn’t accept a zero compensation increase for its members, and the government caved and allowed members to receive substantial salary increases through grid movement,” MacLeod said.
The Liberals want the OECTA deal to be a “roadmap” for school boards when negotiating new collective agreements for teachers, claiming the deal constitutes a wage freeze. Yet the math tells a different story: as salary grid movement has not been frozen, the deal could cost $450 million if replicated with all teachers’ unions. Meanwhile, the three unpaid days off will save only $150 million.
“This so-called deal will blow a $300-million hole in the government’s fiscal plan, taking us closer to a $30-billion deficit and a $411-billion debt – three times what it was when the McGuinty government was elected,” MacLeod continued.
In May, MacLeod noted, the government had a chance to get it right by supporting PC legislation that would have delivered a real, across-the-board wage freeze for two years, including a freeze to salary grids. Instead, they voted down the bill and chose to “negotiate” freezes with public sector unions, which has failed to date.