Posted 2 March 2023
On 29 November 2022, Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice declared that the 2019 Wage Restraint Act (“Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act”; formerly, Bill 124) violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and is “void and of no effect.” The Ford government is appealing that decision.
OHFA’s reopener clause (in the York University – OHFA Memorandum of Agreement signed 19 August 2022) reads as follows:
6. Letter of Understanding re Wage Reopener
The Parties hereby understand and agree that in the event that the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, 2019 (“Bill 124”) is repealed, or successfully challenged through the courts such that it is of no force and effect and is not the subject of any ongoing appeal, during the term of the renewal collective agreement (i.e. at any point prior to June 30, 2025), the parties agree to re-negotiate the portions of those salary and compensation provisions of this collective agreement that were limited by Bill 124, but only to the extent permitted by law and having regard to the Employer’s financial position.
This Letter of Understanding will expire on June 30, 2025.
OCUFA – part of a coalition that launched a Charter challenge in 2020 – issued a public statement calling on Ontario universities to revisit collective agreements negotiated during the three-year moderation period. In addition, OCUFA highlights bargaining gains by Trent and Wilfred Laurier. In addition, Queen’s has recently ratified its collective agreement; QUFA is the first OCUFA member association to settle following the dismissal of Bill 124 without having served a moderation period.