Confusion over pay freeze

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Non-unionized workers at Ryerson have had their pay frozen thanks to legislation passed by the Ontario government.

The budget, released March 25, announced that all non-union public sector employees would have their pay frozen for two years, effective immediately.

Limiting compensation pay is part of the government’s plan to reduce its deficit. But at Ryerson, it’s unclear how much of the university will be impacted by the freeze.

Because of the confusion, all universities are submitting questions to the Council of Ontario Universities (COU). The questions will be presented to the finance minister and Ryerson will get more information about conditions for each employee group, said President Sheldon Levy.

“It’s not clear how much wiggle room there will be,” said Timothy Bartkiw, an assistant human resources professor.

Even unionized workers are worried.”It’s going to be quite difficult,” said Don Elder, president of CUPE 3904 which represents Ryerson contract staff and faculty.

Although CUPE workers aren’t covered by the compensation freeze legislation, the government expects twoyear agreements with zero per cent increases when collective agreements expire, according to CUPE.

“It serves to send out a warning signal,” said Bartkiw. He said it puts pressure on all groups involved.

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