Our police, fire and emergency medical services play an important role in Mississauga by
protecting our communities, caring for our health, and keeping our streets safe. However, the
significant labour costs for emergency services (police, fire and emergency medical services)
remain a concern for the City of Mississauga and other municipalities of Ontario. Labour costs
for emergency services continue to escalate and contribute as a significant proportion of the
municipal operating budget.
The cost of wages, benefits, pensions, and other areas of compensation for emergency service
workers are negotiated through collective bargaining agreements. Yet, when a negotiated
settlement cannot be reached, these emergency services without the right to strike, proceed to
the interest arbitration process. This process provides for arbitration to issue an award which
is final and binding on all parties. The awards issued by Interest Boards of Arbitration have
failed to adhere to the requirement to consider a municipality's ability to pay. This has
caused higher settlements than what would have been freely negotiated. As a result, this
process continues to increase the costs of emergency services and removes the municipal
employer's efforts to control labour costs.
The City of Mississauga is calling on the new provincial government to change the rules of
arbitration governing the municipal public service and to ensure that fair and equitable rules
are in place that can benefit residents of all municipalities.
The question that provincial political parties should answer is:
Will your party agree to change the rules of arbitration and make arbitration settlements
more affordable to communities?
If you wish to read more on this topic, please refer to the corporate report entitled
"Provincial Election 2011: Summary of Key Issues for the City of
Mississauga" (pages 9-11)