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Court strikes down wage-limiting law for public sector workers

An Ontario court has struck down a bill that limited wages for public sector workers.
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More than 50 people line the Bridge of Nations in June, 2020 to protest the Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act, otherwise known as Bill 124. The bill was struck down this month by an Ontario court. (File)

An Ontario court has struck down a bill that limited wages for public sector workers. 

Groups representing several hundred thousand public sector employees challenged the constitutionality of Bill 124, a law passed in 2019 that limits wage increases at one per cent per year for Ontario Public Service employees as well as broader public sector workers.

The province argued the law did not infringe constitutional rights.

Unions representing government workers, teachers nurses and university faculty members argued the law had taken away meaningful collective bargaining, thereby violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The provisions of the bill were to be in effect for three years as new contracts were negotiated, and the Tories had said it was a time-limited approach to help eliminate the deficit.

Justice Markus Koehnen says the law infringes on the applicants' rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2022.

The Canadian Press