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Defending Public Healthcare: Union wage advantage grows by $1.71 per hour

The gap between union and non-union wages in Ontario has grown significantly since the start of the recession in 2008, increasing by $1.71 per hour, Statistics Canada data indicates. The hourly union advantage grew by 34 cents per hour each year on average.  For a full time worker, that means the advantage for having union . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Union wage advantage grows by $1.71 per hour

Defending Public Healthcare: With 34,000 jobs destroyed, Ontario focuses on Jobs and Growth

With the release of the 2013-14 first quarter finances report, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has announced the start of his own consultations on the economy.

The focus (allegedly) is on “jobs and growth” .

The formal pre-budget consultations with a committee of the legislature usually start in the late . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: With 34,000 jobs destroyed, Ontario focuses on Jobs and Growth

Defending Public Healthcare: A record drop in public sector jobs?

Much was  made by the media and others in the chattering classes of the “record” drop in public sector employment reported in the July Labour Force survey by Statistics Canada last week. So, are public sector workers facing a fall? For Ontario, the figures show a drop of 23,600 in  public sector employment.  That’s a drop of . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: A record drop in public sector jobs?

Defending Public Healthcare: Patent transfer recommendations remains secret

The provincial Ombudsman has followed up on his damning report on the privatized, non-ambulance patient transfer industry.   The Mike Harris Progressive Conservative government privatized the patient transfer industry at the turn of the century, moving the work over from Emergency Medical Services (ambulance services).    Two years ago, however, the Ombudsman and the . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Patent transfer recommendations remains secret

Defending Public Healthcare: Contracting out costs soar 26% per year

Contracting out of medical transcription work is becoming more common in Ontario hospitals.

So it is noteworthy that our sister union in BC, the Hospital Employees Union, reports today that “the cost of outsourcing medical transcription services in the Lower Mainland has increased by an average of 26 per cent a year over the last five . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Contracting out costs soar 26% per year

Defending Public Healthcare: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes from the Liberals on bargaining and health

The Throne Speech from the new Liberal government of Kathleen Wynne sticks fairly close to previous Liberal policy.

But it does make a few noteworthy new turns.

With the past Liberal government, the claim was they would expand home care. The problem was their expansion was more imaginary than real — and the . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes from the Liberals on bargaining and health

Defending Public Healthcare: McGuinty government demands multiple concessions

As expected, the McGuinty government has made a long series of concession demands at the OPSEU “OPS” negotiations, where OPSEU is bargaining on behalf of 36,000 provincial civil servants. Here is what OPSEU saw from the government on the first day: … . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: McGuinty government demands multiple concessions

Defending Public Healthcare: PCs rule out legislative wage freeze deal with McGuinty

The Progressive Conservatives have  — effectively — all but ruled out reaching an agreement with the McGuinty government on a legislative public sector “wage freeze”.While complaining that the McGuinty government has not pursued negotiations wit… . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: PCs rule out legislative wage freeze deal with McGuinty

Defending Public Healthcare: OSSTF bargaining stops as OPSEU talks start

Negotiations between the government and OSSTF (the union representing public secondary school teachers) have ended.  Harvey Bischof, vice president for the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, told the Ottawa Citizen that t… . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: OSSTF bargaining stops as OPSEU talks start

Defending Public Healthcare: Home and community care funding less than promised

The announcements of new “home and community care” funding (which started last week) continue, this time for the Ottawa area. Home care activists First the good news.  The $7.15 million announced for the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) … . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Home and community care funding less than promised

Defending Public Healthcare: P3 hospital debts threaten quality of health care

Patients in Britain could see their health care services cut as a result of botched public private partnership (P3) hospitals.    The Public Accounts Committee of the British House of Commons has flagged special concern about the “unaffordable” P3 deals.   Public Accounts Chair Margaret Hall said, “We are particularly concerned that the financial viability . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: P3 hospital debts threaten quality of health care

Defending Public Healthcare: Liberals conceal ugly concessions (as other wages rise)

The proposed public sector “compensation restraint”  legislation floated on Wednesday by the Liberals is neatly silent on whether the government will impose contract concessions on 500,000 working people.

The government consistently talks of a “compensation freeze” or “compensation restraint”.  Obligingly, the (corporate-owned) media has usually repeated that framing of the issue, as if it . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: Liberals conceal ugly concessions (as other wages rise)

Defending Public Healthcare: McGuinty: more legislation targeting public sector coming

The Liberal plan to obtain a majority by targeting public sector workers went askew last night, with the Liberals falling to a distant third place in the Kitchener-Waterloo by-election.

But they are not deterred in their chosen path. After the defeat, Dalton McGuinty promised to continue pushing his current bill imposing concessions on school . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: McGuinty: more legislation targeting public sector coming

Defending Public Healthcare: When a wage freeze is not a wage freeze

In its dispute with teachers, the Ontario Liberal government sometimes tries to claim that one union’s offer of a wage freeze is not in fact a wage freeze.

The rationale here is that even though no teacher would get a general wage increase for two years, some junior teachers would progress up the wage grid . . . → Read More: Defending Public Healthcare: When a wage freeze is not a wage freeze