When it comes to a long-overdue pay increase for members of the OPS, the employer maintains there is NO money. Despite two years of wage freezes (which is a pay CUT due to the increase in inflation) they want you go another two years with zero.
Apparently, there is no money for OPS workers who provide valuable public services, workers that are proven to do the work better, and cheaper, than the private sector. Yet this same employer, the Ontario Government, continues to find billions of dollars for the Pan AM Games overruns, gas plants, Ornge Air Ambulance, MaRS, SAMS, IT consultants, annual tax cuts for private corporations, and private/public partnerships. The total cost to taxpayers for these scandals? Approximately $15 billion dollars…and climbing. Not only have your tax dollars been wasted, the same government wants you to pay for their mismanagement through your wages.
In effect, the employer’s message at the bargaining table is that you are worth nothing; not worth a raise, and not worth the benefits you already have as they try to cut those as well.
Two more years of zeroes is just the start. Those two years will turn into four years of zeroes unless you want to trade it for something else that has been gained in previous rounds of bargaining.
A zero per cent increase goes far beyond a pay cut right now. Like the 12 step pay grid, this is money that is lost forever. It affects your pension, and you will receive a lower pension benefit. You will have less money to pay for food, your mortgage, gas or any extra-curricular activities for your children. Every OPS member is already behind thanks to years of below average increases…and the last two years of receiving nothing.
If you believe you are worth more than zero (or more accurately, more than less than zero), it’s time to stand up, make noise, and support your Bargaining Teams!
Original authorized for distribution:
Roxanne Barnes, Chair, Central/Unified Team
Tom O’Neill, Chair, Corrections Team
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Related: OPS Bargaining 2014 Index Page