Toronto, April 04, 2019 - The provincial government passed Bill 66, otherwise known
as the Restoring Ontario's Competitiveness Act, 2019 which allows municipalities
and other public institutions to designate themselves as ‘non-construction employers,'
according to Schedule 9 of the legislation, even though they employ construction
"A fundamental legal issue we have with this legislation is that it gives public
entities (the employers) the right to decide if their employees are going to have
collective bargaining rights, when the law states that employees have those rights,"
said Patrick Dillon, Business Manager of the Provincial Building and Construction
Trades Council of Ontario.
"Schedule 9 of Bill 66 takes away the collective bargaining rights of those construction
workers. The right to band together and to realize collective goals in the workplace
should not be tampered with," explained Dillon.
Bill 66 gives municipalities, universities, hospital boards, school boards, and
other public entities the power to decide if they, as employers, want to continue
abiding by long-standing Collective Agreements with Building Trades workers. "In
our view, whether or not workers choose union representation resulting in collective
bargaining is not up to employers, be they public entities or otherwise, but rather
solely up to workers," emphasized Dillon.
"If the government's stated goal in implementing Bill 66 Schedule 9 was to save
public entities' money with respect to construction activity, then our Council shares
that goal and we're disappointed that the government decided not to insert Project
Agreement language in the Bill, as we had suggested during Committee consultations,
which would have resulted in a cost-saving mechanism that does not eliminate collective
bargaining rights," Dillon pointed out.
"Our goal is to reduce the precariousness and vulnerability that workers experience
and we believe that the Government shares this goal despite its mistakes on Bill
66. We will challenge this legislation through the courts and we will continue to
work with the Government to advance issues of balance and fairness for workers,"
The Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario represents 150,000
trades workers throughout the province.