Barrett question raises tone of debate

Oct. 24, 2013


QUEEN’S PARK –A question from MPP Toby Barrett on private-public sector wages raised the spirit of debate in the Legislature today.

“People have the perception that government jobs pay a whole lot better than regular jobs,” Barrett said. “We know they are right; it’s in the research. If you add up wages, holidays, sick days, early retirement, job security and pensions, public servants come in 30 per cent better off than their private sector counterparts, counterparts who are paying the freight. These are the people who are paid 30 per cent less with no pension. It’s not fair, Premier, and you have allowed it to become so out of whack from what should be pay equity.”

Barrett introduced Bill 113, Comprehensive Pay Fairness Act to try to level the playing field and create transparency in public sector negotiations and fairness for all taxpayers. It is scheduled for second reading this afternoon. Barrett asked the Premier if she planned on supporting transparency in the wage negotiation process and restoring equity between private and public sector wages. She turned to the Minister of Government Services John Milloy for an answer.

“It’s not fair, and it’s expensive,” Barrett said. “Drummond says half the Ontario budget goes to public sector compensation. Half of $128 billion is $64 billion. And they are being compensated at 30 per cent above market rates—30 per cent too much. That equals $19 billion a year.”

Milloy inferred the bill would create more bureaucracy.

“This is political doublespeak,” Barrett said. “My initial question was not answered and a government that wears the committee-creation crown missed the point in my bill that stated the Comprehensive Pay Fairness Division would be comprised of existing employees and from the existing budget – it does not create more bureaucracy.”

For more information contact
MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446