Thursday, March 1, 2012

McGuinty says to Mr. Drummond, thanks but no thanks

This morning, Ontario’s Education Minister Laurel Broten told reporters elementary and secondary school teachers were being offered a two-year deal that would freeze salaries and put an end to retirement payouts for unused sick days.

Should her government follow through, this would mark a significant departure in policy by our education-friendly premier, Dalton McGuinty. The existing agreements, which were signed in 2008 and which expire Aug. 31 of this year, gave elementary teachers 10.4 per cent salary hikes over four years, and secondary teachers 12.55 per cent over the same period.

This along with increases to their salary grid allowed, in Ms. Broten words, “many teachers [to] have been receiving total pay increases of 8.5 per cent annually.”

Importantly, the new deal would also end an existing provision that allows many teachers to carry over up to 200 unused sick-days to retirement when they are paid out as a lump sum equal to 50 per cent of their current salary.

This nice bit of tax money give-away will cost Ontario a whopping $118-million this year—the total liability on the government’s books to date is $1.7-billion.

In regards to Don Drummond’s recent recommendations to cut full-day kindergarten and hike class sizes, Ms. Broten told reporters, “We appreciate [Mr. Drummond’s] advice, but we have a different idea.”

Let’s hope her “different idea” is nothing like the secret deal Premier McGuinty cut with Ontario civil servants, giving them a three per cent pay hike after last fall’s election. This despite Finance Minister Dwight Duncan’s promise to freeze wages in his 2010 budget.

© 2012 Russell G. Campbell




  1. Russ , I hope the rest of Ontario gets to have it's say when your contract or
    time for a raise comes due!! Why does everyone feel that they have a right to complain about the Public Service. A lot of hard working people contribute greatly to the betterment of Ontario,just like the private sector.
    Would you like to pay them so poorly that you won't be able to attract the good people. (you pay peanuts you get monkeys!! )

    1. To start with, Anon 05:52, I don't think an employer is responsible for maintaining an employee's purchasing power. Employees don't deserve raises unless they are promoted, do more work or do something different than in the previous year. Automatic raises for doing the same work causes inflation and drains the income and wealth of fixed income families.

      Moreover, the fact is we do not "pay them so poorly that you won't be able to attract the good people." We pay them much more (wage and benefits) than the private sector and still do not get the best people. We could freeze public sector wages for three to five years and still be at or ahead of much of the private sector.

      Back in the 1950s the public sector was poorly paid compared to private sector, but we still had one of the strongest public sectors in the world.

    2. I beg to differ on your statement that the public sector makes more than the private sector.

      That is totally not true ! that is the same propaganda that has been said about the public

      sector for years.

      As far as raises go both the public and private sectors negotiate their raises. Pay for

      performance does not happen very often in the private sector!!