Sunday, October 2, 2011
Hudak won’t rule out pay-freeze legislation for unionized jobs
Taxpayers can’t afford to pay big union boss salaries anymore or pay for their advertising campaigns, said Hudak from an Ajax gas station on Friday.
If elected, Hudak said he would sit down with unions – like teachers who come up for bargaining next August – and ask for a pay freeze but if that doesn’t work legislation would be a “last resort.”
Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty campaigns on how there has been labour peace in Ontario schools since he was elected. He has repeatedly said under former Tory premier Mike Harris, hundreds of school days were lost due to teacher strikes.
Last year, the Liberal government asked the public sector to work with a zero per cent pay increase as the province experienced economic tough times.
Hudak said he is “very concerned” about the influence of union bosses in the Liberal government.
Union bosses and special interests such as the Working Families coalition are spending more money on ads than political parties, he said. “We all know that million dollar smear campaigns don’t come cheap,” he said.
“If Dalton McGuinty is back in the premier’s chair, you are going to have in negotiations unions on one side of the table and political parties who are elected on union money on the other side of the table,” he said. “Who is looking out for taxpayers? Dalton McGuinty can’t do it. I will.”
The PCs have set up a “very clear framework” on how they will approach negotiations, he said.
“It will be based on the ability of taxpayers to pay, not the appetite of union bosses that determine collective bargaining negotiations,” he said.
Open negotiations with unions will be the first step, Hudak said outside the gas station, where he held a media availability after changing a car’s oil.
“I’ll sit down with union leadership, we’ll look for their solutions as well. Those who are on the front lines know where the waste is,” he said.
“I’ll look for responsible leadership from the unions, but we will consider whatever options. All options are on the table.
“We’ll look for responsible leadership but I won’t rule out any tools.”