Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2021-01-05

The Politics of Public Sector Wages: Ontario’s Social Dialogue for Austerity

Document type Article
Author Evans, Bryan
Journal Socialist Studies / Études socialistes
Volume 7
Date 2011 07 23
ISSN 1918-2821
Pages 171-190


The economic crisis has revealed the extent to which sustaining the key tenets of the ‘Common Sense Revolution’, implemented by the Conservative government of Premier Mike Harris, have eroded the fiscal capacity of Ontario. The proposal to freeze public sector wages and the ensuing consultation with public sector unions and employers in the spring/summer of 2010 signal Ontario is about to return to the rollback neoliberalism that dominated the 1990s. The difference between now and then is the more defensive posture of organized labour and the limited capacities that exist to resist such an assault.