Monday, November 24, 2008

Unions can't gouge

"Canadian unions, both public and private sector, require a major reality check," says Randall Denley in the Ottawa Citizen. He has excellent examples from the City of Ottawa and the Canadian Auto Workers, but the federal public service has the most significant impact.

The federal government has offered its unions 6.8 per cent over four years. It's a fair raise that is likely to roughly approximate the rate of inflation over the term of the contract. Professional Institute of the Public Service Canada president Michele Demers characterized this as bad faith bargaining and said it amounted to the dismantling of the public service. This was an improvement on her earlier comment, when she suggested the government could put the offer "where the sun doesn't shine." This person represents our public service professionals, which probably explains why she didn't say "where the sun don't shine."
It's refreshing to see any government willing to limit civil service wages to inflation. Too bad it takes a worldwide economic crisis to force such a reasonable approach.

***Update: the Public Service Alliance of Canada agreed to the offer of 6.8% over 4 years.***

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