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CUPE reaction to imposed collective agreements

Friday, January 04, 2013   by: Staff


CUPE responds to the announcement of imposed collective agreements and the repeal of Bill 115

TORONTO, ON – The Minister of Education today announced the repeal of Bill 115, retreating from legislation widely opposed as a violation of democratic rights to free collective bargaining, while at the same time using the power of this undemocratic legislation to implement collective agreements.

"It's like the government thinks it can throw away the hammer after using it, and get away with the crime." said Fred Hahn, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario. "It's cynical politics to use a piece of legislation that takes away democratic rights and that even the Minister understands is bad for Ontario."

Hahn called on politicians of all stripes to acknowledge that the democratic right to free collective bargaining must be respected.

"The Minister referred to Bill 115 as a lightning rod, a recognition of the broad public opposition to this Bill and to attacks on democratic bargaining rights. The last thing Ontario needs is for any government to repeat these mistakes again."

Hahn cautioned the Liberals to not introduce the so-called "Protecting Public Services Act," which proposes to strip hundreds of thousands of other Ontarians of their democratic right to free collective bargaining and a fair contract arbitration system.

"It is important that all political parties understand and respect the rights to free collective bargaining and impartial contract arbitration. It is time that all Liberal leadership candidates and, indeed, all political leaders, commit to respecting the democratic rights of workers. If they do not, they threaten to bring further instability to communities across Ontario."


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happy camper 1/4/2013 8:03:10 AM Report

Im first on this time
lowla 1/4/2013 8:52:54 AM Report

at times, I don't think that there would have been as much opposition to Bill 115 if the government had shown some restraint in their own spending
debbiedoo 1/4/2013 9:35:00 AM Report

Question: How can you describe "collective bargaining" as a democratic right when my democratic right to have my children taught by professionals is interrupted whenever the union doesn't come to the table and negotiate but rather threatens "strike" when things don't go their way? Sounds like a bunch of cry babies if you ask me. We all must do our part at getting this country out of financial disaster; and if this is the way that the government has to do it with the unions then so be it.
Zarm27 1/4/2013 10:16:14 AM Report

I'd estimate his salary at around $600k with all the lovely benefits to boot. Herd those people like sheep and pull their strings just for the Unions cause. How can people not love this Province?
Sam C 1/4/2013 10:33:08 AM Report

debbiedoo... don't blame Ontario teachers for the country's financial state -- which, by the way, is better than most countries.

The Province of Ontario's finances, on the other hand, are abysmal, but not simply because of teachers. McGuinty has been spending wildly for his entire term, but to pick on one segment -- who are NOT provincial employees -- to impose his own brand of "fiscal restraint" is a nasty piece of obfuscation.

To pass, by Order in Council, legislation that allow the government to bypass collective bargaining and imposes a contract on teachers AND boards, and then immediately repeal that legislation, shows how under-handed this Premier is.

Your "democratic rights" to have your children educated were not affected. A one-day strike (which I do not agree with, btw) won't affect their education.

The real danger was the government would have used Bill 115 on a wider range of employee sectors.

Fortunately the government is repealing this contentious and odious legislation. Unfortunately, they wielded it like a sword to force a contract on the education sector first.
Job Developer 1/4/2013 10:33:40 AM Report

The day of the unions holding companies and government hostage has got to come to an end. All of this talk about rights to collective bargaining is just rhetoric on the part of the unions. Collective bargaining means sitting at the table until a fair deal is reached, not holding one party hostage till you get what you want. Business bargains collectively all the time . If you bring a valuable service to the table people will pay for it. It is called commerce and it happens every day.
Job Developer 1/4/2013 10:37:48 AM Report

Response to Sam

What the repeal of this bill means is that the government used it exactly how they said they would. It was designed to protect the level of education for our kids. It was used for that and that alone, then withdrawn. You keep saying that the government was going to use bill 115 for everything yet you complain when they used it for what it was designed to do.
zick999 1/4/2013 10:41:19 AM Report

The government knew Bill 115 was wrong. But, it was the only way to make a stand against the teachers union.

The whole argument for teachers was that Bill 115 attacked their rights and the rights of all Ontarians. SOOOO, if teachers remain to lose banked sick days and a wage freeze ... but ... the government will repeal and not allow itself to do this again then there shouldn't be anymore argument right??? So teachers can't complain anymore because they always said it wasn't about the money???
And my previous prediction was right ... the government knows it should properly collective bargain with Ontarians and their unions ... but it's impossible to bargain with that spoiled little brat the TEACHERS UNION. Like everyone else in Ontario knows other than teachers.

It seems the rest of us are ok even though the teachers claim the government is coming after all of us. Although, shouldn't they be ... we are in a recession. Teachers were the first to be attacked because what they get is ridiculous. The teachers can be proud of themselves for standing up against this Bill for all of us. They won and this won't happen again. But you better not get pay increases and your sick days back.
zick999 1/4/2013 10:50:23 AM Report

Well put jobdeveloper ... the teachers union was making a big deal about this Bill. They tried to rally as many people on their side to not have this Bill passed ... claiming the government was coming after everyone ... I guess not LOL. It sucks to be a teacher. For the first time in 20 years they didn't exploit our children and blackmail our government to even more greener pastures.
Rob19 1/4/2013 10:56:05 AM Report

Typical union propaganda and strong arming.....wonder how much per year the top union officials make - whether on strike or not.....
sumosah 1/4/2013 11:28:35 AM Report

debbiedoo .... obviously not a unionized employee.... this goes much more than the teachers ... carpenters, bricklayers, steelworkers .... all which are generally owned and ran by BIG Corporations internationally... the Big powers running these companies would manipulate and exploit the workers and only are kept in check by the respective CBA's they are legally bound to follow .....think about that ...
cooker_eh 1/4/2013 11:28:40 AM Report

Don't you ppl understand that if the govt can do this once they can and likely will do it again. I'm sure Bill 116 is already drafted and ready to fill in the name of the next big sector they want to take on. The only reason they repeal this is to avoid the court challenge. Very underhanded indeed.
BIG BROTHER 1/4/2013 11:47:44 AM Report

Job Developer,
The imposed contract is 'fruit of a poison tree' and is therefore not enforceable.

The government had no intention of sitting down and negotiating a deal. Their offer was take it or leave it.
Norm 1/4/2013 11:53:32 AM Report

The Liberals have rolled the red carpet out for the teachers union for many years. The teachers now hate the government, who they themselves elected over those many years. After a few years on the job, teachers make a very good living, benefits that are top in the country, and a pension that most lay people would, do envy. The line on taxpayer funded salaries, including elected officials, has to be drawn immediately.
debbiedoo 1/4/2013 12:08:10 PM Report

to Sumosah:
I'm very proud to say that I'm NOT an unionized employee and don't hide behind the union - I actually work for what I earn and work for a very good private company. Perhaps when the unionized employees (not all) "wake up" (literally) and start earning their money honestly then they employers will treat them differently. I don't know how many times I've heard that people "sleep" on the job because they're "union". It's called WORK - get used to it because the day of unions may be coming to an end; and it's about time.
BigDaddy 1/4/2013 12:09:13 PM Report

"Question: How can you describe "collective bargaining" as a democratic right when my democratic right to have my children taught by professionals is interrupted whenever the union doesn't come to the table and negotiate but rather threatens "strike" when things don't go their way? Sounds like a bunch of cry babies if you ask me. We all must do our part at getting this country out of financial disaster; and if this is the way that the government has to do it with the unions then so be it."

So Debbie, I guess your right for a babysitter surpasses other rights to a free method of negotiation for their livihood? May I ask, what exactly are you doing for "your part" with the financial disaster? Please think before you type.
Mopar 1/4/2013 12:10:26 PM Report

If this were a private company and I was the CEO I would lock out the workers for July and August and see if they want to negotiate in September after they have gone a few months without pay. The private sector has been taking it on the chin for decades now and the public sector just keeps on demanding their 3+ percent every year. The fact is that Ontario is broke so public sector workers should be treated like they are working for a bankrupt company. ( that does not have the ability to simply raise taxes).
Maybe our gov't leaders need to do what Reagan did to the air traffic controllers in the 80's.
BIG BROTHER 1/4/2013 12:27:51 PM Report

You work for a very good compant. Congratulations! Really...congrats.

Now, study a little bit of history. You will find that companies treated employees like 'slaves', historically. Your 'good job' is likely the result of unions forcing employers to treat employees with dignity and respect. Non union companies fear unions and therefore have come to realise that it is better to treat employees with dignity and respect. It is the unions that brought this to the forefront and have been battling private companies and certain governments ever since. None of us like unions but why is it that people don't like to work at MacD's or Walmart??
MikeQ 1/4/2013 1:02:42 PM Report

@ Debbiedoo

Getting rid of unions won't get this government out of debt. If that were true, there wouldn't be so many stories about corporations who get bailout money, give the management bonuses, and then file bankruptcy a month later. The debts of this country are due to those in "upper management." Democracy is driven by the middle class, destroy the unions, dissolve acceptable wages/benefits, destroy your middle class. No middle class means a more exclusive 1% and a more inferior 99%. This national debt needs to be treated like a poisonous snake, you cut at the head first.
debbiedoo 1/4/2013 1:06:38 PM Report

to Big Brother - firstly, before you speak you should know how to spell - perhaps your teacher that taught you was one of those "sleeping" or one that took all of their sick days off instead of teaching. Secondly, those that have jobs should be thankful even if it's at MacD's or Walmart. Finally, yes it was the unions that brought this to the forefront. However we now have what's know has the Ministry of Labour that now regulates this. Face it, unions are a thing of the past and should be kept in the past.

catmom 1/4/2013 1:24:59 PM Report

Wake up, debbiedoo and all others who support the Ontario Liberals in their underhanded actions and misleading statements. When an elected government is allowed to impose legislation which contravenes Charter Rights and includes in this legislation language which makes fighting the legislation illegal, we have a problem. Our province is definitely cash-strapped and in need of a fiscal overhaul but the Liberals tried to take the easy way out and detract attention from their bigger crimes, like the money they lost to ehealth, ORNGE and power plant cancellations. Why do you think McGuinty ran off with his tail between his legs? Debbiedoo, you sound pretty smart - take some time to investigate these actions by the Liberals and you will see that I am right. McGuinty set up the teachers as a "Paper Tiger" - there was never any threat of strike. In fact, you could argue that the likelihood of the teachers striking last Sept was as likely as the Liberals negotiating in good faith since last Feb, which is to say "didn't happen."
Nimrod 1/4/2013 2:41:39 PM Report

When unions and private business fail to reach agreements strikes may result but both parties are well aware of the bottom line and they must both negotiate to protect that bottom line.Profits and viabilty must be retained.When public servants negotiate with government there is no "bottom line" just the bottomless pockets of the tax-payers!!! This Liberal government used these bottomless pockets to pander votes from unionized public servants to get elected and the best thing the voters did was to return the Libs to power to face the huge deficiet they created.This mess looks good on the greedy teachers and a government who is now having to face it's debt.Unfortunately, we the tax payer,will have to bail out both of them.I'm just sick of both of them!!!
muf 1/4/2013 3:33:15 PM Report

Here you go union haters. As sign of things to come. Hope your children and grandchildren enjoy working for nickels and dimes. Oh wait sorry, I hear the gov`t is looking to scrap the nickel next.


muf 1/4/2013 4:24:01 PM Report

Some will say people now have the Ministry of Labour to protect the non union workers so there is no need for unions anymore. That`s Great ! but wait ....the word ministry reminds me of a Government service/ office. Hmmm wonder how that will turn out in years to come . The gov`t will do as they please then and even now so it seems.
ackw 1/4/2013 4:50:16 PM Report

I think there is solution to this ! ! Allow teachers to strike July 1 til Labor Day.The province will save money and the teachers can show how smart they are. PROBLEM SOLVED
catmom 1/4/2013 4:54:48 PM Report

Many people justify their remarks by stating that "they are tax payers." Teachers as well as all other workers and consumers in Ontario are tax payers. I fail to see how paying taxes somehow makes one's opinions more valuable ...
Biggars 1/4/2013 5:12:13 PM Report

See this link to better understand the hypocracy. Dalton walks off the job. He will be collecting over 300 000 in severence, after quitting. And his good buddies? Yup. They get a pay check too.
Oldie Goldie 1/4/2013 6:42:04 PM Report

The Government admits that they will only save about $ 500,000,000 with this violation of Bargaining Rights---What is that when you know that the Liberals spent Ontario into a $ 16,000,000,000 Deficit. This stranguling of the Teachers pay and benefits is less than 1 1/2% of the Deficit--- who will the Liberals screw next to get the other 98 1/2 % of the Deficit back ?

Bill 115 is a clear violation of the Ontario Labour Laws that allow bonafide Unions to fairly negotiate their Contracts and the Courts will find the Ontario Government in violation and recompense will be awarded to those who were violated.

That will cost the Ontario Taxpayers much more than if they had bargained fairly in the first place---but the Liberals will be gone by then.
BIG BROTHER 1/4/2013 8:28:09 PM Report

'However we now have what's know has the Ministry of Labour'

Before you point the finger, take a page out of your own book. A typo is not considered a spelling mistake, but...whatever!!

Good luck with the Ministry of Labour.

Norm 1/4/2013 10:17:37 PM Report

Teachers hated Mike Harris, now they hate Dalton Mcguinty, go to work and be happy you have a job to go to.
I'm In 1/4/2013 10:23:55 PM Report

The Ministry of Labour will side on the government of the day debbiedoo, so good luck with MOL. To the poster above your absolutely right, public sector workers wages/benefits are 2% or less of the Ontario Provincial Budget. In the good years when Mcguinty was first elected the government coffers were bringing in $102 million a day and boy did the Libs. spend, and not on public sector wages. I am sure people wouldn't have an issue with a wage freeze in tough economics times as long as the cost of living didn't increase but that won't happen anytime soon. So now that the Ontario government is in debt there attacking government employees and they want the private sector workers to support them because they know that that private sector workers hate public sector workers and this has been the norm in my 54 years on earth cause I worked in both sectors since i was 18 years of age.
Ricatoni 1/5/2013 11:59:04 AM Report

The bottom line to all you union hating uneducated,useless canadians is that union workers will now realize the goverment hates us and only uses us for their gains .We will now do the least amount of work possible to get through the want dictatorship you got it...You the citizens will be the ones who suffer for this communist regime......Ontario and Canada is on a one way ride to Communist dictatorship ..... before you no it we will all be wearing red stars on our chests and working for pennies all the while goverment politicians will be living like kings and locking up those that stand up to them....its going to get way worse in the future of Ontario and canada. And to all you ding dongs that think fred Hahn is a union thug.guess what this guy has more brains and ability then all you mashed haters in one of his fingers.He is not going away and he will be the thorn in the side of the liberals and the conservatives till the day he retires.That you can take to the welfare office and drop off when you bring in your live for free forms.......The goverments have awaken the union dragons....let the games begin and it starts with you the tax payer get ready for a year of civil and native unrest HA HA HA will all pay the fidler this time.prepare for Canadian unrest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Zarm27 1/5/2013 9:10:11 PM Report

I think the poster above painted a very clear picture of how the Unions can be perceived. Aside from the bashing of the Government which we all elected, there is also a condescension towards others that are not part of his group. Not to mention the threats of further action. Like it or not, the Government officials we have put in power are meant to look for the best options with consideration to the entire country. That does not mean they'll cave from pressure just because they received donations from a particular group to sway their votes on bills. Also, with the amount of overspending in all areas, it wouldn't be considered a communist regime. It could be considered a totalitarian government asserting control, but yeah seriously it is by far closer to capitalism than communism lol. Uneducated.... right.
Ricatoni 1/6/2013 1:42:25 AM Report

zarm27:Like it or not, the Government officials we have put in power are meant to look for the best options with consideration to the entire country.

Does that include the hundreds of millions pilfered by the Ontario liberals and the sell out of our natural resources to a communist country by the federal conservatives????

you and your goverments will never stop the will of the people to be free from dictatorship!!!!!!!!

we are IDLE NO MORE!!!!!!!!!

This is just the beginning of unrest in this country all brought on by your goverment officials...
Zarm27 1/6/2013 2:30:39 AM Report

You are not idle no more, you're a nutjob catering to whatever fits your sense of empowerment. You are a sheeple, and if I knew you my respect for you would have been completely removed. Although I encourage you to continue to use public forums since it would increase my amusement while I intoxicate myself on your stupidity. Granted I make mistakes a plenty due to using this while intoxicated, but really chum, you are hilarious.

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