February 10, 2006

Issue:
Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario news conference outlines plans for strikes as early as next week.

What we know:
CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan held a news conference yesterday outlining strike plans in response to the Government of Ontario’s proposed Bill 206.

According to Mr. Ryan, CUPE will commence the strike if and when the Government introduces the Bill for Third Reading. The Provincial Legislature resumes sitting on Monday for three weeks.

The strike is expected to carry on over several days and may rotate, and last as long as the Bill is in Third Reading debate.

CUPE and AMO oppose Bill 206 for very different reasons. AMO’s concerns about Bill 206 recognize that the Bill will result in major additional costs for municipalities and property tax payers.

According to a statement by Mr. Ryan, CUPE's major concerns with the Bill include, among other
issues:
  • The requirement for a two-thirds majority for decisions regarding benefit improvements and contribution rates (amendments requested by AMO and recommendation in the OMERS’ 2002 governance report).
  • The representation of non-union municipal employees including managers (managers in municipalities and school boards for example constitute a significant portion of employees who pay into the plan; representation by population is an amendment supported by AMO and others)
  • That the Bill does not treat CUPE members as favorably as police and fire services employees. (The costs related to the Bill’s favorable treatment of specific employee groups are among AMO’s greatest concerns)