Toronto – OPSEU/SEFPO’s leaders say public sector heroes and front-line workers who helped Ontario through the pandemic should be rewarded, not robbed by the Ford government.
OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick says the budget is filled with public money giveaways to private sector CEOs while the public sector continues to be starved for funding. In last year’s pandemic budget, Premier Ford provided money for health care and other public programs – and then refused to spend it when we needed it the most.
“Doug Ford is no friend of workers and this budget shows it,” said Hornick. “He’s learned nothing from this pandemic, investing money in private corporations instead of public services and robbing frontline workers of their rights.”
From housing to transit to highways to health care, OPSEU/SEFPO’s leaders say this budget is for the investors, not for the people.
“Doug Ford is moving funds from the public good to corporate interests,” said OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer Laurie Nancekivell. “Private developers, for-profit long-term care and home care providers are some of the big winners in this budget. Meanwhile workers continue to have their wages cut and their rights violated.”
Anti-worker legislation is still on the books capping wage increases at one per cent, allowing employers to violate union contracts during the pandemic and letting the government pick and choose which workers get wage increases. It’s created a staffing crisis that reaches across all public services.
Meanwhile, the budget also threatened government office closures and relocations. Hornick stated that the government’s focus should be on the expansion of public services across Ontario; not closures.
“We went out of our way to work collaboratively with the government during the pandemic and in return they made this budget announcement without even bothering to consult us,” said Hornick. “This leaves a lot of unanswered questions, such as whether any existing offices will close and whether our members could be forced out of their jobs.”