Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

March 25, 2008 17:28 ET

OPSEU: Budget Provides Much-Needed Re-Investments in Public Services; McGuinty Government Right to Ignore Flaherty

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - Investing in public services and the people who deliver them will help Ontario cope with the current economic climate, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) says.

Patty Rout, OPSEU's First-Vice President/Treasurer, said the Duncan Budget sends the right signals as several of the union's largest units head into bargaining.

"With the revenue projections in this Budget, the money is clearly there for fair settlements in the major units OPSEU represents," Rout says. "We look forward to bargaining better contracts for our members."

Rout said the government was wise to ignore Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's calls for a substantial corporate tax cut. "We like what the government says about properly funding public services and the need for fair bargaining with those who provide these services. Public services are critical; more so after the years of vicious Conservative cuts. Remember - tax cuts mean service cuts."

"We hope the minister remembers his comments today about honouring public sector workers and their contributions when we are at the table," said Rout.

"Providing people with new skills is essential, especially for those losing jobs in manufacturing. Recruiting more skilled workers, and retaining them, is essential. The government has made a start in the right direction. But a deeper long-term commitment to funding our community colleges is needed."

"The provision for long-term care in this Budget is also inadequate."

OPSEU represents 130,000 public sector workers including employees of all Ontario government ministries, Ontario's 24 colleges, health care, the LCBO, and many other public services.

Several of the union's province-wide contracts expire over the next year including those for support staff at the community colleges (Aug. 31, 2008) and the Ontario Public Service (Dec. 31, 2008).

OPSEU is also engaged in the largest organizing drive in Ontario history, involving thousands of part-time workers at the 24 community colleges.

Contact Information

    David Cox
    (416) 788-9197 (cell)