Two Canadian provincial Conservative governments are contemplating legislation that would cap public service wages, potentially eliminating wage provisions in existing collective agreements.  If such legislation is enacted, it will certainly be challenged by the affected unions, given the Supreme Court of Canada’s declaration that the constitutional guarantee of freedom of association includes the right to collective bargaining;  See Mounted Police Association of Ontario v. Canada (Attorney General), [2015] 1 SCR 3, 2015 SCC 1.

It will be worth watching to see whether these two provinces will proceed with their plans or whether they will utilize other means such mediation and/or arbitration to address their attempts to curb public sector expenditures.

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