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Tue Nov 6 2012

RE: Council calls for arbitration reform, Oct. 26.

Like many Ontario municipalities, Niagara regional council is missing the mark on arbitration, which covers far more essential health sector staff– about 250,000 — than municipal workers.

Collective bargaining and arbitration for hundreds of hospital and long-term care employers and their predominantly female workforce, is working well. A review of freely negotiated private-and public-sector collective agreements for the last 20 years found that compensation increases in the health sector are slightly below those that are freely negotiated. And health-sector arbitrated settlements are less generous than for other essential service workers like fire and police.

So where’s the problem? Not with health-sector arbitration awards. |

Throwing the baby out with the bath water and radically changing the arbitration system, as municipalities like Niagara region are calling for (because they have problems in their sector) is not helpful. MPPs should not support the changes being promoted by municipalities.