Sep 26, 2012 / 7:17 am
Ontario's Liberal government is unveiling legislation to freeze wages for nearly half-a-million public sector workers at hospitals, colleges, hydro companies and long-term care homes, but not police or firefighters.
The legislation essentially mirrors the bill the Liberals used to impose a wage contract on teachers earlier this month, freezing pay and benefits for two years, but allowing some upward movement on salary grids.
All collective agreements will have to be submitted to the finance minister for approval, and the government could approve or reject the deals, or even impose its own contract on the two parties.
The bill will cover nearly 2,300 public sector union contracts until 2017, so that workers who just signed agreements with wage hikes will still be hit with a two-year freeze in their next contract.
Municipalities are exempt, which means the wage freeze will not apply to police, fire, ambulance, public transit or other local workers.
Finance Minister Dwight Duncan unveiled the proposed wage freeze bill to the media today.
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