Hillier Restores Trust in Broken Arbitration System

(QUEEN’S PARK) - MPP Randy Hillier, Ontario PC Critic for Labour, tabled The Trust in Arbitration Act yesterday. The legislation is the Ontario PC’s strong response to the McGuinty Government’s ongoing shell game with public sector union negotiations.

“For several years now we Conservatives, along with countless others, have told this Liberal government that Ontario’s arbitration system needs to be fixed for the broader public service,” said Hillier yesterday in the Legislature, “or, in light of our recent and poor economic performance, Ontario’s broader public hindrance.”

The Trust in Arbitration Act will provide real action to fix Ontario’s broken arbitration system, action the Liberals’ own hand-picked economist, Don Drummond, recommended, yet they have conveniently ignored. The Bill will establish an Independent Arbitrators Commission, which will resolve all disputes when a conciliation officer is unable to do so through the collective bargaining process. The commission will be mandated by this legislation to resolve disputes in light of the fiscal environment of the province and/or the employer; it specifies that tax increases are not a justifiable means to increase arbitration settlement awards.

“This Bill will prevent politicians of all stripes from bribing unions for their support with taxpayer dollars,” said Hillier. “This Liberal Government has refused time and time again to include clauses in legislation that reflect the province’s ability to pay, because the current loophole allows them to dole out dollars for political gain.”

Mr. Hillier’s Trust in Arbitration Act has received support from industry and stakeholders across the Province who have voiced their concerns for years that Ontario’s arbitration system is broken.

“Over the years arbitrators have gone wild in awarding generous contracts to unionized labour and have failed to account for the ability of the taxpayer to pay for massive increases in public sector wages and benefits. CFIB is supportive of legislation that will require arbitrators to abide by specific criteria when resolving a labour dispute, including the employer’s ability to pay in light of the economic and fiscal environment,” said Plamen Petkov, Ontario Director of the Canadian

The Trust in Arbitration Act will provide real action to fix Ontario’s broken arbitration system, action the Liberals’ own hand-picked economist, Don Drummond, recommended, yet they have conveniently ignored. The Bill will establish an Independent Arbitrators Commission, which will resolve all disputes when a conciliation officer is unable to do so through the collective bargaining process. The commission will be mandated by this legislation to resolve disputes in light of the fiscal environment of the province and/or the employer; it specifies that tax increases are not a justifiable means to increase arbitration settlement awards.

“This Bill will prevent politicians of all stripes from bribing unions for their support with taxpayer dollars,” said Hillier. “This Liberal Government has refused time and time again to include clauses in legislation that reflect the province’s ability to pay, because the current loophole allows them to dole out dollars for political gain.”

Mr. Hillier’s Trust in Arbitration Act has received support from industry and stakeholders across the Province who have voiced their concerns for years that Ontario’s arbitration system is broken.

“Over the years arbitrators have gone wild in awarding generous contracts to unionized labour and have failed to account for the ability of the taxpayer to pay for massive increases in public sector wages and benefits. CFIB is supportive of legislation that will require arbitrators to abide by specific criteria when resolving a labour dispute, including the employer’s ability to pay in light of the economic and fiscal environment,” said Plamen Petkov, Ontario Director of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

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