(2010-2011 HR#6) Compensation Restraint Act – Permitted Adjustments

October 1, 2010
Advancement Staff; Confidential Staff; Professional & Managerial Staff; Research Associates
Angela Hildyard, Vice-President, Human Resources and Equity
Compensation Restraint Act – Permitted Adjustments

Since the communication to you in July regarding merit increases for 2010, much has occurred. I have spent a significant amount of time involved in the Consultation process that the Ontario Government initiated with various of the University sector unions. This challenging process is continuing. One positive side effect is that I have an up-to-date understanding of both the Legislation, which applies to you, and the Compensation Restraint Program, which applies to staff who engage in formal collective bargaining.

During the consultation process, with colleagues from other Ontario Universities, I emphasized to the Government that some groups, like yourselves, did not receive across-the-board increases in 2009. We argued that such groups were now facing additional multi-year constraints imposed by legislation. The Government has remained firm in its position that, even in such circumstances, the ongoing provisions of the Legislation must be followed.

The Legislation does, however, permit merit increases in accordance with existing programs. We are, therefore, moving forward to implement your merit increases, retroactive to July 1, 2010, for the October pay run. At the same time we will implement those performance-based One Time Only (OTO) payments that have been approved in accordance with our existing program and take steps to facilitate ongoing OTO performance-based payments in an equitable fashion.

I will be holding town hall meetings, from mid October to early November, at which my HR colleagues and I will explain further how the Legislation operates as well as some options that may be available under our existing compensation program. Further information on the town halls will be forwarded shortly.

The President, Provost and I wish that the Government had found a way forward that both promoted temporary salary restraint and avoided inconsistencies in salary adjustments for different employee groups within and among universities. While we endorse the need for restraint until public finances ease, we also remain strongly committed to the principle that salaries here must be competitive, in keeping with the outstanding work done by so many employees at this great institution. While being cognizant of our constrained resources, we also remain committed to doing what we can, over time, in support of internal equity.

Last, in keeping with this latter principle, the University has indicated to the Government – and will indicate to each of its bargaining agents as we negotiate renewal collective agreements – that we will make every possible effort to attain zero ATB increases for two year periods for each employee group.