Amended Ontario Budget Bill Passes Third Reading, Receives Royal Assent
On June 20, 2012, Bill 55, Strong Action for Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2012 (“Bill 55”) passed Third Reading, as amended by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs (“Committee”).
Among other matters, proposed amendments to interest arbitration processes under a variety of statutes were deleted from the Bill, including the Ambulance Services Collective Bargaining Act, 2001, the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997, the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act, the Police Services Act and Toronto Transit Commission Labour Disputes Resolution Act, 2011.
Significant changes to the proposed Schedule 5 (Broader Public Sector Accountability Act, 2012) “wage freeze” amendments were also made, including:
- an indefinite extension of the March 31, 2014 expiry date for restraint measures until the province of Ontario ceases to have a budget deficit; and
- new wage freeze provisions that require affected broader public sector employers to ensure that the “performance pay envelope” for any “performance cycle” that falls in whole or in part during the wage restraint period does not exceed the total performance pay envelope for the last performance cycle that ended before the effective date of the freeze.
A more detailed discussion of the above amendments, Bill 55 and Budget 2012 is available in our FTR Now of June 20, 2012, “Amended Ontario Budget Bill Passes.”