Michael Harris
MPP Kitchener - Conestoga

Liberals’ Metrolinx deal opens flood gates to higher wage hikes
July 21, 2014

QUEEN’S PARK — Today, Premier Kathleen Wynne and Treasury Board President Deb Matthews seemed unaware of the consequences that their wage hike for Metrolinx workers is having on municipalities across the province, PC Transportation Critic and Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Michael Harris said today.

 “The City of Guelph offered its transit workers a 6.8%-wage increase, but the union rejected it yesterday,” Harris said shortly after question period. “It’s really not hard to see why when members of the same union working for Metrolinx got nearly 2% more out of the Liberal government.”

On June 2, in the waning days of the last election campaign, Metrolinx struck a deal with Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1587 to give 1,850 transit workers an 8.45% wage increase over four years. News of the deal was reported by the Toronto Sun over the weekend, and just yesterday ATU Local 1189 rejected the City of Guelph’s wage-increase offer.

“Cash-strapped municipalities already have enough challenges,” Harris said. “Now because of the Liberals’ politically motivated decision to dole out a more-than 8% wage hike to avoid a strike during an election, municipalities have been put into a much more difficult negotiating position. It’s unfortunate, but it seems to be a hallmark of this government to act without any regard for the consequences.”

Matthews repeatedly told the media after question period that there would be “no impact on service” as a result of the Metrolinx deal. When asked where the savings would come from, Matthews was unable to respond and referred the media onto Metrolinx.

 To watch Harris’s question, click on the following link:http://youtu.be/0mMhHoQv8Oo.

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