Doug Ford's government passed Bill 124 in 2019. The law capped wage increases for most public sector employees, including university faculty, at one per cent annually for three years. The legislation impacted YUFA during the last round of bargaining resulting in the 2021-2024 collective agreement limiting compensation to 1% per year, which is significantly below the rate of inflation.
In the collective agreement, the Employer and YUFA agreed to a reopener clause that would be activated if Bill 124 was struck down and not currently under appeal. In November 2022, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice declared the legislation null and void on the grounds that the legislation interfered with collective bargaining rights. The Ontario government has filed an appeal of the decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal, which has scheduled hearings for June 20-23, 2023.
On April 28, 2023, the YUFA Executive Committee approved a motion requesting the Employer enter into an agreement with YUFA on the contents of a conditional catch-up salary remediation arrangement that would be implemented if the Ontario Court of Appeal upholds the decision of the lower court.
YUFA is of the view that there is no need to wait until the fate of the appeal is known - or until the next round of bargaining - to agree on the contents of a remediation agreement. This would ensure that all current and past YUFA members employed during the moderation period receive a fair increase in compensation should the Court of Appeal rule favourably.