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Time to shine a light on government contractors: OPSEU

Fighting Privatization
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Toronto – The President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union is renewing his call to have government contractors covered by the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act.

“The problem with the ‘Sunshine List,’ released today, is that it doesn’t show the whole picture,” Warren (Smokey) Thomas said. “Kathleen Wynne’s Liberals are pouring billions into the private sector through public-private partnerships and other forms of privatization, yet the public has no idea where that money goes.

“Let’s shine the light on construction companies like EllisDon, and law firms like McMillan LLP, and all the Bay Street banks and hedge funds that are getting fat off public dollars,” he said. “Let’s follow the money.”

Thomas pointed to the recently-privatized Hydro One, whose top five executives raked in $11 million last year, as a perfect example of a company whose high-end salaries should be public.

“I had to laugh when I saw Treasury Board President Liz Sandals say that those salaries wouldn’t affect electricity prices because $11 million is just a drop in the bucket,” he said. “It’s no wonder Ontarians think the Liberals are out of touch with regular people.”

Thomas said the rise in the number of high-income earners on the Sunshine List revealed a provincial public sector that has become increasingly top heavy under the Liberals.

“I’ve been saying for a long time that there are too many managers in many areas of the public sector, from hospitals to conservation authorities to you name it,” he said. “And the wages of those managers have all been paid for, for close to a decade, by austerity, layoffs, and real wage cuts for frontline workers.

“The true message of the Sunshine List is this: we need to move money to the frontlines of public service delivery. Too many people – and too many of my members – are struggling to survive in precarious jobs where they can’t get enough hours and their wages aren’t enough to live on.

“This has to stop.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931