On the Canadian labour front:
Arbitrators nationally are not bowing to political directives:
NOTING LACK OF LEGISLATION, INTEREST ARBITRATORS REJECT ONTARIO GOVERNMENT’S CALL FOR WAGE FREEZE
In quick succession, four interest arbitrators have refused to implement the Ontario government’s call for a wage freeze in the unionized public sector. [Subscription required]
IN ABSENCE OF LEGISLATION, ARBITRATOR GIVES NO WEIGHT TO GOVERNMENT POLICY CALLING FOR WAGE FREEZE FOR UNIONIZED EMPLOYEES
Although Ontario’s public sector wage freeze legislation applies to non-unionized employees only, the government announced that it would not fund any negotiated wage increases and that it was “only fair” that employees represented by unions and associations also shoulder the burden of the current fiscal crisis. As a result of that statement, the University of Toronto sought zero percent wage increases for the academic years 2009-10 and 2010-11. An arbitrator refused to consider the government budget and policy statement, however, stating that to do so would be to require public sector employees to subsidize public services, and force arbitrators to act as the “minions” of government.” [Subscription required]
“Raises ordered for 16,000 health-care workers despite pay freeze,” thestar.com (9 Nov./10).
Politicians, however, are still trying it on: