Compensation Restraint Initiative
On April 4, Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy announced the launch of a compensation restraint initiative across the Ontario Public Service, the broader public sector (BPS), and provincially-funded nonprofits.
ONN was invited to attend a Treasury Board-hosted consultation with other nonprofits and some provincial associations that deliver services on behalf of the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services. Overall, consultations are being organized ministry by ministry and include a subsequent round (recently begun) with labour unions represented in the BPS and nonprofit sector. The message at the consultation ONN attended was that the Ontario Government would like to consider all options for restraining the growth of compensation at collectively bargained workplaces that receive provincial funding. We emphasized that funding agreements, not legislated compensation controls, are the appropriate vehicle to manage costs in (often multi-funded, multi-service) community-governed nonprofits.
As a champion of decent work in the nonprofit sector, ONN emphasizes that average wages in the Canadian community-governed nonprofit sector (currently $42,500) are well below both private and public sector averages. As such, restraining compensation in this already relatively low-waged sector (dominated by women workers) would make it harder for nonprofits to recruit and retain employees, have a negative impact on service quality, and increase income inequality. We encourage workers and employers in the sector to advocate for funding adequacy so that provincially funded nonprofits can meet the needs of their communities and continue to create jobs that serve the public good while creating economic benefit.