A historic victory for workers and public services as the court strikes down Bill 124: OPSEU/SEFPO

“This is not the first time this government has sought to attack the rights of workers. We need to make it the last." — JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President

Toronto (30 Nov. 2022) — The Ontario Public Service Employees' Union (OPSEU/SEFPO/NUPGE) is calling it a win for hundreds of thousands of workers as the Ontario Superior Court declares Doug Ford government’s wage-stifling Bill 124 “void and of no effect.”

Conservative government wage cap violated workers' rights

The decision comes following a court challenge launched by a coalition of unions and associations, including OPSEU/SEFPO/NUPGE, seeking to declare Bill 124’s wage cap unconstitutional. The court found the law violated workers’ right to freedom of association and substantially and unjustifiably interfered with collective bargaining rights.

“This is a historic victory and a further example of what can be accomplished when workers and unions stand together to fight to protect our Charter rights,” said JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President. “Now, we’re calling on the Ford government to accept this decision instead of proceeding with an appeal so we can chart a pathway to a solution to the staffing crisis that is plaguing the public sector.”

Message to government: Accept the court decision

Bill 124 caps public sector compensation at 1%, at a time when inflation is at a 40-year high and when public health care is facing a staffing crisis due to Ford’s wage restrictions.

“This is a win for all workers,” said Laurie Nancekivell, First Vice-President/Treasurer of OPSEU/SEFPO. “Our message to this government is to respect the court’s decision, skip the appeal and move forward to fix the underfunding and understaffing crisis in public services.”

OPSEU/SEFPO will pursue all avenues to re-open negotiations that were stifled by Bill 124.

“This is not the first time this government has sought to attack the rights of workers. We need to make it the last,” said Hornick. “Our members — health care workers, education workers, frontline public service workers — deserve a significant remedy after having their rights trampled and after sacrificing so much during the pandemic and long before it.”


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 425,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good.

While our Components are located from coast to coast, the office of the National Union of Public and General Employees is situated on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

We recognize and acknowledge the crimes that have been committed and the harm that has been done.

And, we dedicate ourselves, as a union, to moving forward in partnership with Indigenous Peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and striving for justice. — NUPGE