OCUFA makes submission on the Ontario Budget Bill

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On Tuesday, June 12, OCUFA made a written submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs articulating our concerns about the provisions of Schedule 28 of the budget bill, Bill 55 Strong Action for Ontario Act.
Schedule 28 of Bill 55, the Government Services and Service Providers Act, is intended to allow for further privatization of Service Ontario. The Act would enable government ministries and broader public sector institutions to contract out services to third party service providers. However, the specific details of precisely what services would be contracted out are unclear in the Act itself. Instead these details are left to be clarified by regulation at a later date through a process without legislative oversight.
OCUFA’s submission expressed concern that the provisions of the Act could potentially empower universities to contract out teaching services or even research services, thus undermining the work of faculty. While there is no specific provision for contracting out faculty functions in the proposed legislation, by including broader public sector institutions – including universities – in the Act, it is possible that work central to the mission of  our universities could be contracted out to outside providers.
Subsequent to the OCUFA submission, the Budget Bill went to a clause-by-clause reading by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs.  Schedule 28 was amended by the committee to specify “Service Ontario services” in lieu of “Ontario government services” in order to narrow the focus of the legislation. However, references to broader public sector services remained in the bill. OCUFA will continue to monitor this legislation.

This article originally appeared in the OCUFA Report. To receive stories like this every week in your inbox, please subscribe.

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