*VIDEO* Wage Freeze for Public Sector Workers Unveiled
The province says it will save $2.8 billion over the next three years.
A two-year broader public sector wage freeze that is expected to affect upwards of 480,000 people who work in places like hospitals, long-term care homes and universities.
The Finance Minister unveiled a proposed bill at Queen's Park on Wednesday.
Dwight Duncan says this is the only way to save public sector jobs.
Duncan notes contracts won't be ripped up to get this wage freeze but rather staggered as they wait until the next bargaining sessions for various unions. He maintains this doesn't infringe on a union's right to strike but reveals they wouldn't legally be in a strike position if a contract is in place - be it bargained or legislated.
While the finance minister wouldn't say if this proposed bill would be a confidence motion, Duncan has his sleeves rolled up noting the Liberals are prepared to run an election campaign on jobs and prosperity.
This bill does not cover municipalities - meaning local police officers and fire-fighters.
Duncan says he's not sure when this bill will be introduced in the legislature.
Meantime, NDP leader Andrea Horwath says it's a reckless plan that will cause turmoil in hospitals and universities across the province.
She says won't support it.
Horwath says the proposed wage-freeze could land up costing more money than it saves if declared unconstitutional by the courts, given retroactive wages would have to be paid out.
PC Economic Development Critic Monte McNaughton says this wage-freeze needs to be tougher.
While the Tories say they have to read over the proposed bill before they can say for certain if they will support it, they likely will give it a nod as they have been proposing an across-the-board public sector wage freeze.