Barrett to bring forward debate on balance between private and public sector

For Immediate Release
October 23, 2013

Queen’s Park – Tomorrow Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett will put forward a fresh idea on what a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work should look like in Ontario.

Barrett will be debating his latest Private Members Bill – Bill 113, Comprehensive Pay Fairness Act – that shines a spotlight on public sector compensation – not just wages but also pensions, vacation time, sick time, hours of work, early retirement, job security and other benefits – in comparison to private sector jobs.

“When you factor in the perks, research indicates civil servants are 30 per cent better off than their private sector counterparts,” Barrett said. “This is not fair, and it’s expensive for taxpayers who are footing the bill.”

One half of this year’s provincial spending of $128 billion is for public servant compensation. That’s $64 billion in taxpayers’ money and a 30 per cent premium over regular work. It means the Ontario government has a combined wage and benefits bill coming in $19 billion higher than if government managers and labour negotiators had kept costs at private sector levels.

Although Barrett’s bill has not been debated yet, it is receiving the thumbs up from various small business advocates and taxpayer associations.

“Bringing public sector compensation in line with the private sector is long overdue”, said CFIB’s Ontario Vice President Plamen Petkov. “Instead of contemplating new taxes to fight gridlock and new Ontario pension plan tax, the province should focus on reducing overall spending by addressing the excessive government wage and benefits premiums over the private sector.”

And Bill Tufts of Fair Pensions For All wrote: “Ontario is now in a globally competitive worldwide marketplace. It is unfair for our businesses to be burdened by a public sector where costs are out of line. We need to maintain balance between the private sector and the public sector. Your efforts go a long way towards achieving this.”
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