The House resumed at 8 p.m.
ESTIMATES, MANAGEMENT BOARD OF CABINET (CONCLUDED)
On vote 502:
Mr. Chairman: When the committee rose at 6 o’clock, the hon. member for Brantford was speaking.
Mr. Makarchuk: I was not speaking at that time, Mr. Chairman, but we were dealing with vote 502. I think the member for Algoma (Mr. Wildman) was prepared to speak. However, I do have a matter which I wish to raise with the minister regarding this particular department. And this is a matter again that where you have a group of people who are involved with the administration of the --
Hon. Mr. Henderson: Mr. Chairman, you should note there are no Liberals over there. You are in pretty bad shape over there.
Mr. Chairman: Order, please.
Mr. Makarchuk: I don’t mind, Mr. Chairman; I don’t find him very disturbing.
Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Brantford will continue without interruption, please.
Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman, I used to live on a hog farm once and I found that you can get quite acclimatized to it, so I don’t mind the noise from over there. Anyway, Mr. Chairman --
Mr. Makarchuk: -- let me tell you what is happening in some of the institutions in Ontario. I will give you an example of what I mean. It really strikes me that the sort of a committee that is charged with a very intelligent handling of events is behaving like some mindless twit. Let me tell you what you do. As a result of your cutbacks in the institutions, you have been taking people with certain skills -- as an example, with nurses’ aid training and so on -- and because there is a desire to preserve their job or their work, you have been taking these people from the wards and putting them to work in other work areas, namely cleaning.
Can you kindly explain to me why do you do a thing like that? Just exactly what function does it fulfil? I realize that perhaps you will have certain bookkeeping entries that will show you have a cutback here and perhaps you are allowed an increase somewhere else, but surely in the interests of sanity and in the interests of preserving some of the programmes that go on in the hospitals, you shouldn’t be doing those kinds of things. You shouldn’t be taking skilled people -- and I congratulate the local people on their efforts in trying to preserve the jobs of these people -- but surely it is rather a silly way to go about doing things. I would like your comments on that.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, the cutbacks described by the hon. member are in all ministries. I am not aware of how the Ministry of Health works in detail, and the only thing I can suggest to him is that it is a question which probably should be asked of the Minister of Health in those estimates. Management Board is not involved in the operation of hospitals, whether they be provincial hospitals or local hospitals.
Mr. Makarchuk: But your civil service commission has some power in administering these people; these people are civil servants. Admittedly, the provincial hospitals have some power to carry on and make these decisions but, surely, your civil service commission has some say in this matter. I assume it would at least be interested, as you say, in utilizing these people to the best advantage in the public interest. You’re hardly acting in the public interest when you do things like that.
The other thing, again, that bothers me, and I’ve received complaints on, is the matter of the workers, the temporary or contract workers you take on at reform institutions. Time and time again, people who are permanently employed in reform institutions come to me and complain that they have inadequate staff; the people you take on -- the temporary people taken on -- cannot cope should a possible emergency arise; they cannot do an adequate kind of job and programmes in existence are being destroyed and so on. In the long run, you may save the odd little shekel because you don’t pay him as much and you don’t give him the fringe benefits and they don’t have some of these things. But in the long run, again, you’re going to spend more money, it’s going to cost more money. The chances are that somewhere you’re going to have a rather violent incident for which you’re going to have to answer one way or another.
Again, surely, this is something that your civil service people should examine. You have had the problem in Huronia where you had the killing of an individual. You have similar situations developing in other institutions in Ontario because you are cutting back; you are shuffling staff. What you’re doing is you’re taking away young, experienced staff in the interests of seniority, which we acknowledge has to be there. But you’re taking away staff and you’re letting situations develop which are potentially dangerous now and eventually could result in some rather tragic situations in this province.
Again, if this is your responsibility, your Civil Service Commission certainly is charged with some of that responsibility. Surely to God, you should look at these things and consider the consequences of what you’re doing.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Without going into detail, the hon. member is correct. Correctional Services has had a great many contract people and part-time people because the workload has increased rather dramatically over the last four or five years and it has not had the complement -- the number of people it has to look after it.
One of the reasons the Justice policy field received one of the large percentage increases in the budget was to deal with this very subject. There’s no doubt about it -- I won’t argue with the hon. member -- Correctional Services has had to deal with its workload because it didn’t have complement by using, say, two people on half days a week for one job; that kind of thing. I expect that in the course of this year it will have additional complement allotted to it and will be able to rationalize or legitimize a lot of the things it has been doing because it just didn’t have the complement.
I can assure him I don’t know that every single problem will be resolved. Again, I am aware, although not of all the detail, that for Correctional Services, in many of its institutions -- what used to be called the county jails -- it is very difficult to anticipate how many people it will have to look after at any one time or over any one weekend. It will always be having part-time staff but we expect by the end of this year and perhaps sooner than that to have sufficient complement in the institutions which run sort of full-time to deal with the problem the hon. member mentions.
Ms. Sandeman: I hope when the minister says that Correctional Services will be getting additional complement in the institutions that that isn’t going to be done in the same way as Correctional Services received additional complement in community programming. It was announced that there would be 20 additional complement adult probation officers but when one looks at the estimates one finds there is no extra salary allotted. One obviously asks the questions: How are you going to pay these people? Are they going to do it for love?
When you pin the ministry down you discover that these extra complement people are in fact people who are already on staff with contracts and who are just going to be shifted from the contract to the complement staff load. There are no new staff. There are new complement positions, but there are no new bodies. I hope that is not all that is going to happen in the correctional institutions.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Again the hon. member should inquire of the Minister of Correctional Services (Mr. J. R. Smith) in his estimates about the detail. I think it is fair to say there is additional money allotted to Correctional Services. I suppose one might speculate that if they had additional people working in the past on contract, say, three people to cover the one job because they were working part-time, that the cost of a full-time person would be very little more, if anything.
Vote 502 agreed to.
On vote 503:
Mr. Makarchuk: I’m just interested in vote 503 again where the Civil Service Commission, the ministries, etc., are provided with the resources which will enable them effectively to realize the government’s objectives. I wonder if the minister at this time could indicate to the House as to whether he has embraced, wholly, totally or partially the objectives that have been outlined in the Henderson report? How are you making your cutbacks or restraints or whatever you want to call them? Are the decisions made by this group on the basis of the Henderson report or are they made in some other way?
Hon. Mr. Auld: The so-called Henderson report affects every ministry. Management Board does not deal with the implementation of the Henderson report. That is a matter that the whole cabinet is dealing with. I would say, repeating what the Premier (Mr. Davis) has said -- as a matter of fact as recently as yesterday in meeting with the Ontario Federation of Labour -- that there are some recommendations which are being implemented almost fully. There are some that may well be implemented partially and there are some that the government may never implement or may not even accept. I’m afraid it’s not within my responsibility to try to answer for every ministry in the government.
Votes 503 and 504 agreed to.
On vote 505:
Mr. Wildman: Earlier this afternoon one of the members of the Liberal caucus was commenting on the government’s abdicating its responsibilities. It’s interesting, when you look to our left here, how scarce they are.
Mr. Samis: Where have all the Liberals gone?
Mr. Eaton: It should be recorded that it’s 8:15 and the first Liberal enters.
Mr. Wildman: I want to welcome the member who has just arrived as the sole representative of the Liberal caucus.
Mr. Cunningham: I care enough to come.
Mr. Samis: Are you the critic of Management Board?
Mr. Cunningham: We are all critics of that.
Mr. Wildman: In vote 505, I would like to deal with some questions about collective bargaining. First, I would comment on the fact that although the government makes such a play of the fact that it is keeping down the total number of the civil service, there seems to me to be a lot of so-called part-time employees, people who are in so-called non-recurring jobs.
I know of cases of people who work for the Ministry of Natural Resources, for instance, who have been in so-called non-recurring jobs for nine to 10 to even 15 years. It seems to me quite unfair that people in these kinds of positions who work for the ministry year after year should be laid off for five months so they can still be called casuals, then are rehired and are not qualified, because they are casuals, to get the kind of benefits that the other employees of the government receive, nor are they qualified for pension and so on.
I just wonder if the minister, at some time during the discussion of these estimates, could tell us how many people are in this position. How many people are employed by the government in so-called non-recurring positions but are hired year after year to be laid off for the required time and then rehired?
It seems to me that this is a very bad practice and one which discriminates against these workers since they are not eligible for the benefits that are negotiated by other workers employed by the government. Having said that, though, I would take note of the fact that many part-time employees have now become members of the OPSEU or, without being members, are now covered by their collective agreement. But they, themselves, are also casuals. Again, it’s my understanding they have not been treated in the way that they should be according to the collective agreement.
For instance, I have a large number of cases here of people in Blind River who are in the employ of the Ministry of Natural Resources. They are so-called casuals who, because they were laid off and then rehired, have been denied their sick leave, their bereavement leave, their compassionate leave, maternity leave and so on, because of the collective agreement which was arrived at through arbitration where it is stated -- at least this is the government’s position -- that where they have been laid off and rehired, they can no longer have the accumulative sick-leave benefits that they had built up in the past and they are now denied those sick-leave benefits. It is the position of the union, of course, that this is not acceptable. They have filed a grievance, as of April 8, which has yet to be ruled on by the arbitration board. I believe they’re meeting on May 4. I’m not certain of that date.
It seems to me that if the government is going to employ people, and in this case people who are supposed to be covered by the collective agreement that governs the unionized workers of the government -- the employees of the government -- then these people should be allowed to have the benefits that are negotiated, or at least have been accepted in the past under the Act, as benefits that employees of the government are entitled to.
Apparently the government’s position and the minister’s position is that they are not entitled to these benefits because the arbitration award did not give them the benefits. In the past, before they were unionized, they had those benefits, which seems rather ironic, because it was set down in the Act as part of their benefits.
The union, of course, maintains that it is untrue; that they do not have these benefits simply because it wasn’t part of the arbitration award. The union claims that they are laid down under the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act and that they cannot be taken away by the government simply because they aren’t awarded in an arbitration agreement. As I said, the union has filed a grievance which will hopefully be ruled on in May and the arbitration board hopefully will clarify the situation.
I would hope that the government would rethink this whole thing and would give the casual employees they have now the benefits that they give to other employees. When I say casual employees, I don’t mean the truly casual ones. I’m talking about the people who have worked for ministries for years and years but who are still classified as casuals and are laid off. The federal government picks up the tab for a few weeks each year in unemployment insurance benefits and then they are rehired again.
Obviously, if they are rehired, these are not so-called non-recurring jobs; these are jobs that are necessary on a continuing basis. And if the people are performing a service for the government on a continuing basis, then they are entitled to the same benefits as all other employees, through the negotiations.
I’m talking mostly about the Ministry of Natural Resources, but it is interesting that not all ministries have treated these part-time employees in the same way. Apparently the Ministry of Health, for one, is continuing the same rights and benefits for its part-time employees as it has always given them under the Act; I’m not certain about that. but that’s the information I’ve been given.
I would like to know a number of things. First, why are there so many so-called casual employees hired over and over again on a continuing basis? Why are they not given the benefits that other employees are given? Why aren’t they classified as full-time employees if they are going to be hired so many times? And as far as the employees who are covered by the collective agreement are concerned, how can the government justify discriminating against these employees simply because they are so-called part-time employees?
Hon. Mr. Auld: First of all, without repeating the statement I made in the House two weeks ago, there are many jobs that are totally seasonal in nature -- tree planting and snow ploughing, for instance -- and, as the hon. member said, some of these jobs are required two months, five months or six months every year but not year-round. Consequently, there are seasonal employees who work full-time but they don’t work the whole year.
The hon. member is aware that the union signed the agreement to which he referred and obviously accepted the award of the arbitration board and so on. I would say this too: There is no prohibition against a ministry carrying over benefits -- and I’m aware of many people in my own riding, just as there are in Algoma, who are good employees and who work every winter on snow ploughing, sanding or something like that, or who may work every summer -- probably they are different people -- in tree planting, park operation and that sort of thing. There is no way that the taxpayers can pay for tree planters working 12 months a year.
Mr. Wildman: That is not what I am asking.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Regarding the point that he mentioned about some ministries carrying over benefits for sick time and that sort of thing; as long as the ministry has the funds to do it, there is no prohibition against doing it, but we have to go strictly by the terms of what has been agreed with the union. If a ministry so chooses or does not have the money to carry over those benefits to the following year, because the benefit cost money if they are used, then there is no requirement for them to do it.
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Chairman, I accept what the minister says, but I am not really talking about people who are in truly seasonal work. In the cases I’ve got here, these people are clerks, typists and people like that, who work for the Ministry of Natural Resources. They’re not planting trees. They work most of the year, then they are laid off and then they are rehired. Up until this time they have been covered by these benefits; they’ve been able to accumulate sick leave under the Act. Now because the union has agreed, or at least there has been an arbitration award for a contract and because of the interpretation put on it by the ministry, they are now denied these benefits. It’s my interpretation or understanding that the union never really understood it to be the way the ministry seems to understand it, that the benefits preferred by the Act, because they were not a part of the arbitration award, would then be denied. Since they are not denied to clerks in other ministries, such as the Ministry of Health, why on earth are they denied in this ministry? As I said, the union is grieving on this and it has yet to be decided.
But I have quite a pile of these letters from clerks and typists. In this case, this person was employed for nine months, laid off for five weeks and then rehired. She had built up 21¾ days of accrued sick leave and, of course, statutory holidays and so on. Under the old classification she was eligible for these things and now she isn’t. I’d like to know why.
Why is it that the treatment differs for so-called part-time employees who work for nine months of the year and then are laid off and then rehired on a regular basis for years? Why are they treated one way in one ministry and not that way in another ministry? Why are these workers who are rehired -- not for seasonal employ but as clerks, typists -- why aren’t they treated like everyone else in the public service?
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, I would assume that if what the hon. member indicates is correct -- and I’m sure he believes he is correct and he may well be -- I would be glad to have the Civil Service Commission look into specific cases. I know that there are those who do use some people on a seasonal basis as well as the actual operating people. I also understand that their policy in the past has been that they accrued attendance credits. If there’s been some change I’m not aware of that and if he would like to give me the details, I’ll ask the commission to inquire.
Mr. Wildman: I’d be glad to do that. The union has filed a grievance with the arbitration board and it’s to be heard. The people you are talking about are separate from this, I think. I’m not certain about this but I understand the people on seasonal work -- like those planting trees and in woods management and forest management and so on -- are not or never have been protected by the union. I’m concerned about their position, too.
I know of one person, a friend of mine, who has worked in the Wawa district for Natural Resources. In fact there are two of them -- one who has worked for Natural Resources for four years on a non-recurring job in forest management, and another who’s worked for nine years, and he has told me of a fellow who’s worked for 15 years. They have been laid off each year during the winter and then rehired. I suppose this is seasonal work, but obviously these people are valued employees or they wouldn’t be rehired.
Secondly, it seems that if they are doing a job that is required and needed by the government, and they are, they should have the right to the benefits that other workers have who are employed by the government. It seems somewhat discriminatory to me that they don’t have these kinds of rights. But those people, as I understand it, are not members of the union and are not covered by this agreement. The people I’m talking about right here are, however, covered by the collective agreement, although they are not full-time employees.
Mr. Warner: Quite simply, to the minister, could he tell me what his definition is of the common terminology which is known around this building; an “11-month employee”? What kind of person is an 11-month employee? And could he tell me whether or not that terminology applies to any persons who are employed within the confines of the legislative assembly or any other agency of the Province of Ontario?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I’m afraid I can’t define what the hon. member calls an 11-month employee. But it could well be that that might apply in Correctional Services where they were short of complement, and had laid off someone for a month because they didn’t have the complement for him or her. That’s the only guess I can make. Frankly I had never heard the term before -- and I don’t lead that sheltered a life.
Mr. Warner: I am not suggesting that the minister has led a sheltered life, but the term “11-month employee” is one that has been bandied about here for some time in reference to those persons -- as indicated by the member for Algoma -- who are hired for 11 months, then released, and rehired so that no benefits will be accrued to them other than minimum wage or slightly above. It means no pension, no OHIP premium and so on is paid by the employer, in this case the government. It is a very serious problem to those who are employed by the government of Ontario in this way. I thought that you, as Chairman of the Management Board, would be familiar with the term 11-month employee. If it has not come to your attention, I would appreciate your looking into it, and reporting back to us later about the status of those persons who are employed as 11-month employees.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, perhaps I misunderstood the hon. member for Algoma but I think he was talking about almost-permanent part-year employees who come back and do the same kind of a seasonal job each year. I assume that the hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere is talking about a method of getting around the complement control.
As I said in my statement in the House two weeks ago, one of the things we have done is to put a freeze on the re-employment of contract people when their contract expires, until we know whether it is truly seasonal or whether it is a way around the complement control.
Mr. Makarchuk: I just want to get back to something the minister said earlier about the fact that since a lot of the work is seasonal it is consequently difficult to continue employing the people through one season to the other. I would like to draw the parallel that exists in many city-works departments where they have a similar situation. In some cases students are hired and of course it’s expected they will be going back to school, but a lot of the people, particularly in the parks department, are the kind who are used during the summer in tree planting, park maintenance and so on but with a little hit of careful planning most cities manage to keep them employed all year around. They know the staff they have and have things planned to ensure that there is work the year around. I don’t think any city ever lays off a great number of people.
There are exceptions, but it should be possible for various departments of government -- and I gather some ministries are managing exactly that -- to employ people all year around. So why isn’t the Civil Service Commission, or the people who are charged with this responsibility, trying to do something of that nature, to plan out the work to see what staff they have got and if there is no work, it might be to your advantage to make sure that you create the kind of work as the seasons change that would employ these people.
I think it is much more beneficial to society to have them working and paying taxes instead of sitting and being paid by the taxpayers. Why isn’t that done?
In other words, this is the kind of thing that has been discussed in your estimates year after year. People are wondering why you pursue this kind of policy.
Why do you have these seasonal employees? Over and over again you keep them for 10, nine, 15 years but surely there comes a time that perhaps this isn’t the way to operate. These are people. They would like to have jobs. They like to work. They have commitments. You know you can’t eat only six months of the year. You can’t pay the mortgage or you can’t make the car payments for only six months of the year. Usually -- not usually but always -- these demands are there for 12 months of the year. So why don’t you give them a chance? Try to work it out with your ministries so these people can work consistently all year round.
Hon. Mr. Auld: It may be possible in some parts of the province to do this. There could be different needs in different seasons for roughly the same number of people by different ministries. But in some parts of the province where the distances are so great, it might never be possible. However, with the unclassified staff now part of the bargaining process, it may well be that in agreements in the next few years there will be different provisions for seasonal people where they are doing the same thing each year for the same ministry.
It really becomes pretty complicated in trying to keep people properly employed, say, in three seasonal jobs -- spring, summer and winter or something like that. It may be a little simpler in southern Ontario but in Algoma, for instance, I would think the distances are pretty great. The chap who lives in Wawa and is doing something in that immediate area would find it very difficult to commute to Sault Ste. Marie.
Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman, on the same point: One of the things you would expect governments to be doing is to try to discover ways and means of ensuring that (a) there are jobs, and (b) that the jobs are there all year round. As I said, the cities manage to do it. They also have the seasonal problems. They’re subject to exactly the same kind of weather conditions. The works department in the Sault does not lay off a great number of people every time winter or spring or whatever season it is rolls around. Yet your department will do that kind of thing -- not necessarily your department, but departments of this government will do that kind of thing.
The other point I’d like to stress concerns a problem we have in Canada, and I suppose it’s a problem in other countries that have severe changes of climate. But other countries -- Sweden particularly -- are moving in the direction of ensuring that there is year-round employment. We manage to bring about this kind of employment in construction, etc., where you can work despite the weather. They are doing a considerable amount of research in that an they are planning ahead.
I think this government should be moving in that direction. You should be trying to find out what things can be done and frying to bring about that kind of equalization of employment. if anything, the government should at least try to set the pace or lead in this area.
We realize there’s no obligation on private enterprise because they have their obligations and their moments when they could be more efficient and certain things cannot be done. They are not equipped to go in depth into the kind of research I’m referring to, to find out exactly what they could do. But even in the construction industry you’ll find that 10 to 15 years ago construction in the wintertime slowed down to a considerable extent. Today, that’s not the situation. There have been methods discovered to keep working all year round -- with the exception of when you have some rather severe storm conditions.
Somehow I feel this government should not continue to lay off these people and run in this cyclical manner -- it really is not economically beneficial. You may think you will have money in the spending of one ministry, but you’ll probably pay it out at the other end. The taxpayer eventually still pays the shot for these people not working. That should be one of the directions in which you should be moving, among many others, of course.
Mr. Wildman: Mr. Chairman, I think it’s important to realize we are raising a number of issues here. They are issues which are not just applicable to Algoma but throughout the north, and I’m certain throughout the province, not just in northern Ontario. But I know of the experience in northern Ontario and especially of the experience in Algoma.
The hon. minister has commented about the seasonal employees. I could accept his explanation if I didn’t have these cases of clerks and typists. No mailer what kind of snowstorm you’ve got, if you’ve got a building you can still type. I just don’t understand why these people are laid off and then rehired without sick leave benefits. As I said, I appreciate the hon. minister’s comments that he would look at these cases and have them reviewed. As I mentioned earlier, the union is grieving on those.
I’m also very concerned about the other workers we’ve been discussing. I agree with the member for Brantford that perhaps the ministry should be looking at ways of keeping these people gainfully employed because they want to work. They want jobs; they don’t want to be laid off. There are lots of jobs in the ministry that could be done in wintertime. Considering the problems of moose and deer and other game in wintertime in the north, for instance, there could be increased management to enable the cutting of cedar, for instance, to enable deer to survive in the winter. These people want to be employed. Instead of having them extending the time of employment right now, it’s going the other way.
In the Wawa district, I understand there is some intimation that these people will no longer work for nine months of the year as they have for a long time now. They may be cut back to eight or seven or six months because --
Mr. Chairman: I must remind the hon. member that the Management Board doesn’t have the responsibility for the employment or the job descriptions of every ministry within government.
Mr. Wildman: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. What brought this up, of course, as you realize, is an agreement which is negotiated and is under the purview of this ministry. It relates to the problems of the other casual employees. I would certainly hope the government some time, if not in this ministry’s estimates which are most involved in hiring these kind of employees, will table the number that it has had employed for a long period of time. The Ministry of Natural Resources has never given me this information. I beg your indulgence in dealing with this because it is a very important issue.
Mr. Chairman: Any further comment on vote 505?
Mr. Samis: There are only four Liberals here.
Mr. Worton: Let that be noted too.
Mr. Samis: Harry is here. Let that be recorded.
Mr. Cunningham: Thanks, George. We’re going to get you some time, I want to tell you.
An hon. member: Let that be recorded.
An hon. member: You always do it.
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to concur very briefly with the sentiments expressed by the member for Algoma and very articulately by the member for Brantford. Without going into a great deal of detail, I think that you, sir, as the minister responsible for the Management Board, and I suppose as the symbol for employment in Ontario by people who work for the Province of Ontario, should hear and more appropriately understand the frustrations, quite sincerely, that many people in this province feel toward the government that they work for.
Earlier today the hon. member for Sarnia (Mr. Bullbrook) very appropriately described the frustrations experienced by people determined by this government to be essential to our being, I suppose -- the Liquor Control Board of Ontario -- indicated very sincerely the concern of those employees who obviously, by the tone of the letter expressed by the member for Sarnia, have tried to deal in good faith with their government.
They have lived up to the law. It would appear they have been very fair and very concerned. It would appear -- from my point of view and I know that the members of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition would be inclined to agree with me -- they have been treated in a somewhat shabby fashion.
I suppose that brings us to the relationship that so many of the employees of this government have with their government. I think part of the frustration must stem from the confusion that exists between the relationship of contract employees and the vagary that exists in that. Certainly as a new member, I must admit some frustration in understanding the basis of their participation.
For instance, from the 1974-1975 public accounts, it would appear that Drake Advertising, Foster Advertising, Hicks Morley, McConnell and McLauchlan Mohr, have somehow gleaned three-quarters of a million dollars from the government of Ontario. I’m somewhat hazy as to how they participate, what relationship they have with the employees of the government of Ontario, how they would interrelate and, I guess more importantly, how those particular firms participate with the government of Ontario and do business with it.
My prime concern, I suppose, is the relationship of the employees of the Province of Ontario and the position they may be forced to be in as a result of our participation in the anti-inflation programme of the federal government. I must say, while I’m not as articulate or nearly as informed as the member for Sarnia, I’m sure I can appreciate the feelings expressed by him about the method in which the Province of Ontario would be inclined to participate with our federal government in that programme. As the member expressed earlier today, I don’t think any one of us in this Legislature would be inclined to want to dissociate himself from the aims and the ideals necessary of the anti-inflation programme. I think that if it works, it is clearly going to be of benefit to the entire population of Canada. At the same time, I must say that the legal ramifications of that participation bother me greatly.
I’m very worried about the kind of position that not only the teachers and the various public service elements of the Province of Ontario are going to be put in, but also various essential services as defined by the government of Ontario, such as the Liquor Control Board, if the agreements that we decide in Ontario to be valid are going to be deemed invalid and inappropriate by the federal Anti-Inflation Board. Again, I would like to echo the comments of my fellow member from Sarnia in that, while I bear no malice to Jean-Luc Pepin, I do not feel that that individual in Ottawa -- I don’t care whether he is a Liberal, a Conservative or what he is -- is either capable or, more appropriately, accountable to the people of Ontario. I guess that’s the fundamental fact here, that he is not accountable for the decisions that we in this Legislature are charged with making. We are going to be accountable next election for those decisions and, whether we are members of the loyal opposition, the Liberal Party or the government party, I think it’s going to be incumbent upon us to answer our constituents, and the people who are going to be inclined to question us at election time, as to whether or not we have dealt with these people in good faith and whether or not we are doing them the justice that we are required to deliver by constitutional obligation.
I guess that brings me to the use of Management Board orders and the relationship that these board orders would place upon people who are involved in the public sector. Not too long ago, we raised the question of the use of these Management Board orders in supplementary estimates. To me, as a new member -- and I must admit very frankly and candidly that I’m not entirely aware of the process here -- it seems odd that we would see before us two orders totalling somewhere in the area of $77 million for the purpose of education, I understand. The minister mumbled something in the Legislature about some extra paperwork that might be involved or required for these supplementaries. I suppose he could have mentioned that they also require some amount of public debate and discussion in the House. Again, I would suggest that that is our responsibility in this Legislature and one to which I think that we should direct ourselves.
These Management Board orders only surface in the quarterly reports to the Treasurer (Mr. McKeough) and in detail, I suppose, in the auditor’s report many months after the fact; by that time, the money is spent and the issue is history. I suppose that in many ways the amount of money that is spent relates directly to the relationship of employees in this province and the amount of money that we may be able to extend ourselves in their direction.
Why is it taking so long to come out with these controls and the reporting mechanisms for this sort of thing? The public accounts committee has been concerned for a number of years I’m told -- since long before I came here -- and it has urged in one or two of its reports that something should be done to bring us into line with other jurisdictions. The legislative committee looking at the Camp report is now considering the same sort of thing.
I ask you, Mr. Minister, why has this kind of thing taken so long and what will the ramifications of this kind of delay be on the many people involved in working for the government of Ontario? Will the Chairman of Management Board table these Management Board orders in the future from the last fiscal year, from maybe then to now, so that we do not have to wait for this audited report?
I suppose in the same light, I should speak very briefly on the relationship of the Ministry of Health in this regard, which ran short of money for hospitals in the final two months of the last fiscal year. I understand the sum was $16 million, despite voting supplementary estimates of $88 million. Again, the same thing would take place; the relationship of the kind of employees that we would require to hire, maybe on a day-to-day basis, to look after the needs of patients of Ontario, to maintain the kind of standards that I am sure we have all come to expect in the Province of Ontario.
The Health Minister at the time indicated that it would be rondo up, but there has been an apparent reversal of what was first intended and what they were going to do without originally.
What I would like to say, Mr. Minister, is we would like to know how this amount is going to be made up and how, in fact, it will be made up at the expense of next year’s budget. Will it be done through Management Board orders, or by estimates? How much has been made up and when will it be completely restored?
Finally, I would like to speak on what I consider to be a potential inconsistency in what we have set down in our labour relation laws with regard to hospital employees, people who work in the public sector as teachers, and people who are deemed to be essential servants in areas such as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. I think by virtue of our participation -- without, I suppose, the benefit of approval of this House, with which we have been charged by our electorate -- I think, quite sincerely, we have abrogated our responsibility to the federal government.
I would like now to get your views, as a minister of this government, as to whether this is by convenience. Might it be in order to facilitate the government of Ontario to say: “Well, it is now in the hands of the federal government and we are going to let them administrate these kinds of things”? Or, is it, Mr. Minister, some desire of the government of Ontario to deliberately abrogate our responsibilities, and fail to recognize what we constitutionally have been charged to do?
I would like your direction at this time, and possibly you might favour me -- and through me, maybe, the people of Ontario -- with the basis on which the Province of Ontario would tend to abrogate its responsibilities and, in turn, put the people who work for this government, either directly or indirectly, in the hands of a federal government which is not accountable to us at election time.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, in responding to the comments about this province’s policy regarding the Anti-Inflation Board, I couldn’t add anything to what I said this afternoon. It is not a Management Board policy, it is a government policy. I guess our position has been stated quite a few times by the Premier and by the Treasurer, and others.
I would like to try to answer his questions about Management Board orders. As he is probably aware, the Treasurer and I appeared before the select committee in connection with how we would give information about Management Board orders. The authority, of course, is in legislation passed by this House -- the Management Board of Cabinet Act, 1971. I will quote from section 5:
“Where an appropriation is exhausted, or a sufficient amount is not provided and the public interests or the urgent requirements of the public service necessitate further payments, the board, upon the report of the minister of the department concerned as to the necessity for further payment and stating the reason why the appropriation is insufficient, and the amount estimated to be required, may make an order authorizing payment to be made against such amount as it considers proper.”
Generally, there are two steps. When a ministry believes that it has insufficient funds to complete some programme, and this applies particularly to so-called open-ended programmes in which expenditures are made of which we pay a percentage but we do not have a lid on -- education, welfare, health -- it is sometimes difficult to anticipate the individual expenditure. Something may be over-budgeted in one vote, under-budgeted in another.
I guess technically what we are doing is a transfer although the Act does not permit us to take money out of a vote. By sort of executive order Management Board can say, “We will allot you extra money in vote something on the understanding that you underspend by the same amount in some other vote.”
That is perhaps oversimplified but the first step would be an authorization for commitment. Any ministry which finds that it may be overspent in a vote should and does come to Management Board and say, “This is what we understand.” They estimate the amount; Management Board will then say, “You must find it somewhere else,” or, “Obviously, you can’t find it somewhere else.” Perhaps, in some cases, it’s statutory.
Then we must make provision, if we are going to keep the budget balanced, to find that amount somewhere else. Management Board can in effect, embargo unspent amounts in other items in that ministry or, in fact, I suppose, in other ministries.
It is not until the ministry can come to Management Board and say, “Our estimate was accurate” or, “Our estimate was too low,” or, “Our estimate was too high; the real amount we need is so much” that the board issues an order.
If there are supplementary estimates and those supplementary estimates are dealt with in time for the payment to be made -- this can be a complication when you are dealing with municipalities which have a different fiscal year -- it may not be necessary to have a Management Board order. The first Management Board order in 1975-1976 was last September. The vast majority of the Management Board orders -- and there were 92 of them last year -- were in the last two months of the fiscal year. A great many of them had to do with salary awards.
As I mentioned earlier in relation to that new item in the first vote, in the past there have never been provisions in ministry salary budgets for salary awards because we weren’t sure what they might be. Generally, in recent years they were determined by arbitration. That is one particular field.
I will give the hon. member the gross figures -- sorry; there’s one other step.
The Management Board order is issued; it may not all be spent. It will never be overspent because the ministry cannot spend more than it has in its budget and whatever may have been added by Management Board order. It may well be less. I think the pattern in recent years has been if the Management Board orders, say, total $200 million when the smoke cleared away and the auditor had audited everything it was something between five per cent and sometimes 10 per cent less than that amount. It cannot be more.
The pattern now -- this is a very preliminary pattern as of the beginning of this week because the books closed on fiscal 1975-1976 last Friday -- is that there were 92 Management Board orders totalling $290 million, less offsetting savings, as I have mentioned, in which amounts were embargoed, to $33 million, for a total of $257 million. There were supplementary estimates -- we had supplementary estimates in March -- totalling $207 million. We had statutory expenditures in excess of what was budgeted but had to be paid by statute, of $139 million; and there were salary awards and minor things like that, totalling $21 million, so in effect the amount of expenditure in excess of the budget was $624 million.
However, there was the constraint programme of the Treasurer, the so-called mini-budget, last July, the supplementary action constraints of $138 million and embargoes by Management Board of $123 million, which reduced that total increase that I mentioned, the gross increase of $624 million, by $261 million, giving a total net increase which was shown in the Treasurer’s 1976 budget as $363 million. Actually his statement showed $365 million but there were minor amounts of things that had been embargoed but had to be allowed of $2 million, so we were within $2 million.
I point out that the supplementary action constraints of $138 million and the embargoes by Management Board of $123 million, totalling $261 million, more than offset the total of Management Board orders of $257 million. So, in fact, if you look at the whole picture you will find that first of all we had a net decrease in the budget rather than adding all these gross figures. I hope that sort of clarifies the picture.
I cannot give the hon. member details of the order that be mentioned about Health. As a matter of fact, I didn’t get the details of it, but it has been the case as long as I have been around here and on Treasury or Management Board that there are always a great flood of orders from early March to mid-April, which have to do with salary awards, because that’s about the time that ministries find out just where they stood. We have had authorizations for commitments beforehand, but they don’t know the amount until about then.
Mr. Cunningham: Mr. Chairman, very briefly, I guess the basis of my concern here would relate to the responsibility that we have as legislators and the accountability that we must have to our constituents, the people who either vote for us or don’t vote for us. I must admit to you very candidly that I find it very difficult to account for my actions here in participating in Management Board orders that I have very little control over. That’s why I would like to say to you that if there is any way that this could be done through supplementary estimates, where we might have some sort of indication of what the expenditure is for or why it’s necessary -- and, I suppose more importantly, why it wasn’t budgeted in the first place -- then it would make my function here as a member somewhat easier.
I want to be candid with you. I am not an accountant; mathematics is not my forte at all, if in fact I have a forte, and I don’t understand the whole process. I want to be very clear with you. It is something that I just don’t understand. I don’t know whether it’s Parkinson’s Law. You indicate that you had allocated $261 million and you only spent $257 million, and I don’t know whether to give you a gold star for that or what.
I want to be very sincere with you. I don’t understand it and I find it very difficult to explain that kind of expenditure to my constituents when I haven’t had a chance to participate in any form of meaningful dialogue with you as it relates to those expenditures. I know things come up on a year-to-year basis, and the Treasurer’s track record in this regard would indicate that we certainly can’t be very accurate in our budgetary projections. I want to tell you, I have some confusion here and I don’t know whether it emanates from the fact that I am just new here, but I just don’t agree in principle with this form of financing of the government of Ontario. I could see how we might do it for $10 million or $15 million or maybe even $25 million, but to go to the extent that we have in the past indicates to me some rather loose accounting principles in the government of Ontario.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, just finally, I appreciate the hon. member’s difficulty, because it is a very complex operation.
For instance, the Education amount is $76.4 million in January. Education pays grants to the school boards on almost a two-year basis. They pay estimated grants right after a year for 95 per cent of the estimated expenditure and they pay the other five per cent about the end of that year, when the final audited figures from the boards come in.
Then they pay a part of the grants for the current year on two or three occasions. It’s paid on a formula. And, of course, the school boards are anxious to have the money as close to or in their fiscal year, which is the calendar year. Of course, the province’s fiscal year is April 1 to March 31.
In that January instance, the House was not sitting and it was not going to return until sometime in March. It wasn’t until about the middle of December that Education got the figures from the school boards for what the estimated amount was going to be. There were supplementary estimates prepared, but the House was unable to deal with them before Christmas. Consequently, to make sure that the school boards received the money to which they were entitled as soon as possible to cut down on their borrowing expenses and so on, that Management Board order was issued. Had supplementary estimates been done in December, they would have been included, assuming that the figure had been arrived at. This is one of the problems in dealing with a lot of grants to other organizations.
That amount I mentioned was within, roughly, 2.5 per cent of the estimates. And when you’re dealing with $11 billion, $1 million is a lot of money. But percentage-wise, with open-ended programmes and so on, I think it’s not doing too badly to come that close.
Mr. Chairman: Let me remind the hon. members that we are on vote 505 that deals specifically with the Public Service Appeal Board and staff relations. It would be helpful if you’d confine your remarks to those votes.
Mr. McClellan: I don’t intend to speak at length but I wanted to bring again to the government’s attention, and to attention of this minister in particular, the plight of a particular group of employees who ought to be able to claim the right of protection of the services offered under the employer relations programme and who cannot. I’m referring, once again, to the people who work in the cleaning and maintenance of Ontario government buildings under contract to people who receive contracts from the government for this work.
I assume that the minister is aware by now that the situation is something of a major community scandal, particularly in this city of Metropolitan Toronto. The people who work in the cleaning and maintenance of Queen’s Paik office buildings under government contracts are in the main immigrant workers, by and large, Portuguese, by and large, women. Many of them come from my own riding of Bellwoods and they are, quite frankly, exploited by the contractors.
This matter was brought to the attention of this government last fall when the odious practice was rather clearly revealed in the matter of the contract awarded to Consolidated Cleaning Services.
Mr. Chairman: Once again I feel compelled to remind the hon. member that item 505 deals specifically with appeal board and staff relations and has nothing to do with hiring.
Mr. McClellan: Mr. Chairman, this has to do with --
Mr. Chairman: If you look at the programme description, it’s pretty hard to stretch it to include the cleaning of government buildings.
Mr. Warner: Equitable grievance?
Mr. McClellan: Equitable grievance, as the member said, appeal procedures as required by law, process of collective bargaining -- all of these rights are denied to these employees. I won’t belabour the point, Mr. Chairman.
Let me just conclude in about 30 seconds by saying to the minister that it is about time that your government, and I would suspect your ministry would be able to play a role in this, brought a fair wage provision into its tendering processes so we would not be bidding at the minimum wage level in the awarding of government contracts.
Secondly, you should bring in fair employment practice strictures in the awarding of government contracts so we would not have employees victimized as they are presently under government contracts in the cleaning and maintenance industries.
Thirdly, you ought to consider bringing in union succession right clauses in your tendering process so that as workers organize, their unions are not busted, frankly, by the process of tendering when their contract expires as is the present practice.
Mr. B. Newman: Mr. Chairman, out of curiosity, I wanted to ask the minister how many appeals were heard by the appeal board?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I am informed that the grievance settlement board, since its formation last year until April 28, has received 59 applications; 15 of these were withdrawn; 14 were heard and two are incomplete. That means 29 were disposed of. For May, there are seven applications scheduled and the two incompleted are scheduled to be disposed of in May.
Mr. B. Newman: If an employee wishes to appeal the decision and does not reside in the Metro area, does the appeal board go throughout the province? Or are all appeals held here in Toronto?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I’m informed that the board has not had occasion to go elsewhere in the province, but there’s nothing to prevent it. I suppose it’s really up to the board and its members as to how they deal with the workload.
Mr. B. Newman: The amount of money being expended for the appeals is extremely substantial per appeal when you look at it on an individual basis.
Hon. Mr. Auld: On the other hand, though, the civil service union is here and the union normally assists the appellant and acts as counsel and adviser. I suppose in terms of cost it may be less costly for somebody to come here than for several people from the union to go somewhere else.
Mr. Davidson: Perhaps I should check with you first as to whether probationary periods of successor rights fall under this vote?
I would like to bring up again to the Chairman of Management Board the issue of the probationary period as it is applied to civil servants in this province. Perhaps sometime when I have finished, the minister may respond as to why he feels it necessary that a one-year probationary period for employees within the civil service be applied. I can’t understand it, particularly when you’re dealing with persons such as clerks and other such people who perhaps have had experience prior to coming to work for the government.
The normal purpose of a probationary period is to determine whether or not that person is qualified. I don’t think determining whether they are trustworthy or otherwise falls within the category of a probationary period, If some industries can determine whether or not a person is qualified as an employee within a period of 30 days -- at the most it’s an average of three months -- I see no reason why government could not apply the same philosophy and set a much lower probationary period for new employees, particularly when, by having such a lengthy probationary period, you are taking away from those people the right and protection given to them under the collective bargaining process.
I also would like to bring to your attention, Mr. Chairman, the issue of successor rights -- it has been pointed out by my colleague from Bellwoods, and others who have spoken here today. Perhaps you can answer something I raised this afternoon which I don’t think you have responded to as yet, and that is the possibility of the conversion of psychiatric hospitals from the Ministry of Health to the community boards, a conversion that in all possibility involves some 9,000 employees who have contractual safeguards, who have negotiated wages, who have accrued sick leave benefits and pensions, etc. Is Management Board prepared to guarantee, first of all, the successor rights of those people as far as the contract is concerned? And if they are not prepared to give them the successor rights contractually, are they prepared to guarantee the provisions that now exist in the present contract without equivocation?
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, first of all in connection with the probationary period, the hon. member is aware that as far as the benefits to the employee is concerned, there is no difference whether they are probationary or permanent staff. I understand that a probationary period of a year is rather normal for government service, and I think the hon. member is aware that once the person is on the permanent staff they have greater job security and greater benefits than in many other kinds of employment. I think it’s quite reasonable to require a probationary period of tip to a year where, again in government, a higher percentage of people make a lifetime career than in many industries. I see the hon. member nods his head which I assume means he agrees.
Mr. Davidson: No, I just understand what you’re saying.
Hon. Mr. Auld: In connection with the successor rights I would draw his attention to the amendments in 1974 of the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, sections 49(a) and (b) which deal with successor rights as far as those under the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act are concerned. No doubt he is aware, under the Labour Relations Act, of the successor rights that are involved under that legislation. So that no matter which way some change might go, there are successor rights. I don’t think that they are that much different either -- although Pm not an expert on either, particularly the Labour Relations Act, But there are successor rights and there is protection in that field.
I was a little surprised when he mentioned 9,000 employees. While there have been comments from time to time over many years of the possibility of putting the provincial psychiatric hospitals under local boards, I have not yet heard any discussion that the status of the employees would change. Now, that of course, could happen, but I don’t see it around the corner.
Mr. Davidson: One thing further, if I may, Mr. Chairman. The 9,000 figure was from the union which now represents those employees. Getting back to the successor rights, I’m fully aware, of course, of the successor rights that come under the Ontario Labour Relations Board, having been a union organizer for a good many years. I think the problem here though is -- again I go back to the situation of the ambulance drivers in the city of Toronto last year -- when they came out of Crown Employees Bargaining Act into the community boards, into what then would be the Canadian Union of Public Employees which falls under the Ontario Labour Relations Board, they took it before the Ontario Labour Relations Board and were told that the Ontario Labour Relations Board could not deal with it because successor rights were not transferrable from the one Act to the other. I would like to point that out to you and ask you, if that is the case, would you mind looking into it and seeing if perhaps something can’t be done to protect the employees in that transfer?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I am informed that it was a relatively small group of employees moving into the larger group which was under CUPE and that the employees involved accepted the benefits that related to the contract which CUPE had.
Mr. Davidson: If I may again, in certain things, yes. But in the case, for instance, of seniority rights, there were some who had approximately 10 years of seniority. The only guarantee they were given in that transfer after negotiations by both unions with each other and with the other parties involved, which included the Ontario Labour Relations Board, under the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act, was to carry 18 months’ seniority into the new bargaining unit with them.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Without being familiar with all the details, I suppose it will not be unusual when people transfer from one union to another that they will lose some benefits and gain some. It may be that they sort of balance each other out. But I will be delighted to pursue the matter as the hon. member indicates and get in touch with him later when I understand it a little better.
Mr. McClellan: I simply wanted to ask the minister whether he might care to respond to the concern that I raised. We were promised by Mr. Snow, when he was Minister of Government Services, that there would be a series of recommendations forthcoming from the Ministry of Labour with respect to fair wage provisions in the practice of government tendering. That was about eight months ago. I wondered if you might comment on your own position at this point in time with respect to this problem.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, without incurring your wrath and talking about something that really doesn’t relate to this vote, I would suggest that the hon. member might ask those two questions first of all, of the Minister of Government Services (Mrs. Scrivener) because these are not government employees so they don’t relate to the Civil Service Commission. It is a contract done by Government Services. It is government policy for ministries, as far as Management Board is concerned in the manual administration, that the rules are that, if you can do it more economically and more efficiently in-house you do it that way, if you can do it more economically and efficiently by buying the service by contract, you do it that way.
Mr. Foulds: That’s another way of saying, “if you can do it more economically by exploiting people.”
Hon. Mr. Auld: As for the questions the hon. member raised about the pay and that sort of thing of the employees and their problems about being laid off and so on, that’s a question he should discuss with the Minister of Labour (B. Stephenson).
Mr. McClellan: I intend to do precisely that, but I thought it was an opportunity to bring the problem to your attention and to ask you whether you didn’t think it would be a lot more equitable if this group of employees in fact were permanently under the protection of the Crown Employees Collective Bargaining Act as the rational solution to what is an intolerable situation.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Except that they aren’t Crown employees.
Mr. McClellan: But they should be and that’s the point.
Vote 505 agreed to.
On vote 506:
Mr. Chairman: The hon. member for Brantford. Do you want to deal with these one at a time? If so, item 1 deals with temporary services.
Mr. Makarchuk: I would like to deal with that particular item.
In this case, the government intends to spend something like $8 million on temporary help services, and of that $8 million $7,488,600 is budgeted for salaries and wages. Could the minister at this time give some indication of a breakdown of which ministries would be taking the bulk of this money or is it at this time an unknown area?
Hon. Mr. Auld: It is an estimate based on experience in the last two or three years. The so-called “GO Temporary” has a permanent staff of four or five -- I don’t have the figure right in front of me but I may have it at any moment; oh, it’s 12 -- and it has a group of some 1,200 people who are prepared to work part-time. It is sold to the operating ministries on a full cost recovery basis. So I suppose if we didn’t sell any service this year we would be in difficulties because we wouldn’t be able to charge off the cost of the 12 people who are on our staff, who administer it, to those ministries.
I think it is fair to say that $8 million is our best estimate of what the transfers will be. It is a book entry. We charge the ministry for the service that it buys and it comes out of their estimates and it is sort of evened out in a journal entry.
Mr. Makarchuk: At this time, Mr. Minister, can you give an indication as to which ministries would be the major users of the service that you are providing? Also, I would like to know what was the figure that you had either budgeted, or preferably spent, last year in terms of salaries and wages.
Hon. Mr. Auld: I can’t tell you exactly what was spent in 1975-1976 yet, because the books were just closed. Let me give you the actual 1974-1975, which was $6,309,460, and the recoveries from the other ministries was the same amount. In 1975-1976, the budgeted amount was $6,373,100 and the recoveries were $6,366,100, with a net cost to us of $7,000, and you can see the estimates before you.
We don’t have the ministry breakdown at the moment, but I will be delighted to get it for the hon. member and send it to him when we do have it, which will be probably in another six to eight weeks.
Mr. Makarchuk: Mr. Chairman, once again it would appear from the figures that you have given me that you intend to spend roughly about $1.1 million more on temporary help services this year compared to last year, and I wonder if you are not really perpetuating the problem that we discussed earlier, where you will continue hiring people on a temporary basis and laying them off eventually when you feel that they are not useful to the department or agency. It would indicate to me that as a result of your constraint programme you are laying off permanent staff but, in effect, you are going to be hiring more temporary staff to fill the spaces.
I question the intelligence of that kind of operation, particularly when you take into account where you intend to put some of those people. If that is not the case, then the other case, of course, is what you will do is continue to perpetuate the problem we discussed earlier, that was raised by the member for Algoma.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, in answer to that, we are presently, I am informed, doing an audit on that problem and we will have it completed in a month.
I should point out, of course, that the salaries of the “GO Temporary” people have increased -- I think it was 9.5 per cent -- in line with similar jobs. Ministries have used temporary people for many years. In fact, we set up “GO Temporary” because we were using outside people and we felt that we might do it more economically in-house.
As I say, we are auditing the thing just to see what is going on, but there are many times where there are people on sick leave for several weeks, or holidays and so on, particularly now that holidays to the civil service have increased, and it just isn’t possible to fill in. In fact, with the complement reductions it may well be we will require increased use of “GO Temporary”. Where there used to be four people in an office, if one person became sick they didn’t have to in for them for two or three weeks. If there are only three people there now, we will.
Mr. Chairman: Vote 506, item 1, temporary help services.
On this specific item, the hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.
Mr. Warner: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. By the way, am I not correct in assuming that we are dealing with 1, 2 and 3 combined?
Mr. Chairman: How does the committee want to deal with them? They are quite disparate in their intent. Do you want to deal with them independently?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I must say I would prefer to deal with them in order, but if the House wants to deal with them in --
Mr. Chairman: That seems like the most orderly way to deal with them. Can you address your remarks to item 1, temporary help services?
Mr. Warner: I will accede so long as we can address item 2.
Mr. Lewis: Does the Chair realize the remarkable lucidity with which he has endowed the chamber this evening by describing the items as disparate in their intent? You are indeed a remarkable chairman and should be revered as such.
Mr. Chairman: Shall item 1 carry?
Mr. Lewis: I cannot possibly image anyone of Tory inheritance handling things so aptly.
Mr. Chairman: Item 2, French-language services. The hon. member for Scarborough-Ellesmere.
Mr. Warner: Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I am disappointed.
Mr. Wildman: Wait a minute, you just complimented him.
Mr. Warner: I am not disappointed with the chairman. We have been here for 4½ hours and the minister, the Chairman of Management Board, has neglected to put before this House his personal thoughts and direction with regard to the affirmative action plan as it applies to female personnel employed by the government of Ontario. I find that quite disappointing and I find it perhaps typical of what one could call the tokenism of this government over the past few years.
Perhaps the minister can rescue himself when talking to item 2, the French language services. He may bring into that discussion how he has not only provided French language services to the Province of Ontario through Management Board, but how it also inculcates the employment of female personnel and frying to preserve their rights to promotion.
I would be very interested in hearing those remarks. Throughout the document that was presented to the board by the executive coordinator of women’s programmes on the status of women Crown employees in Ontario, it consistently refers to Management Board. It consistently refers to the fact that leadership rests with Management Board and that if we are going to see an affirmative action programme that is more than reverse discrimination, it will rest with Management Board.
Yet I have not heard a clear, precise definition by the minister as to his personal position and the kind of direction that he will take as the minister of that particular department. I am very disappointed in him, extremely disappointed.
If the minister would so condescend, I would appreciate hearing from him if there is a precise definition as to the expenses involved in the French language services. That is, can he provide for us a formula for bilingual services? Is there some sort of formula that the government has found applicable in providing French-language services to those areas of the province where French is not the primary language or the mother tongue?
Is it a firm conviction on the part of the Province of Ontario, and in no way a token effort, that the French language shall be treated as a primary language? And, for a change, I would like from the minister a definitive statement, one that is precise and me that states philosophy. I ask for the minister’s response.
Mr. Foulds: Philosophy from the minister?
Mr. Samis: Don’t forget the burglars in Brockville.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, I think the hon. member is talking about the general bilingual programme. Actually, this vote deals with French-language training for public servants, both provincial and federal, some of which is supported by the Secretary of State and some of which is supported by operating the federal ministries where the training is provided for federal civil servants and is fully recoverable from the federal government.
I have some figures here of what was budgeted last year, how it was worked out and how it has increased over the years. They relate to the French-language service provided by the Civil Service Commission. We used to give this information on the basis of individuals, but there are really three types of courses -- full-time sort of immersion courses, short-term evening courses and long-term, say once-a-week courses. They are provided at present in Toronto, Sudbury and Ottawa.
Mr. Samis: Are most of them in Ottawa?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I couldn’t tell the hon. member. I would think that most would lie in Toronto, as far as our own staff are concerned, but we provide a fair programme in Ottawa, mainly for federal public servants and municipal personnel. In 1974-1975 the total amount budgeted was $604,649 and the recoveries were $122,890, for a net cost of $481,759. The budget for 1975-1976 was up to $842,400 and the recoveries were estimated at $277,400, for a net cost of $565,000.
We have the figures as shown here. The allocation of the amount of $948,800 before you tonight is estimated to be $280,400 provincial, $618,800 federal -- and that would be a combination of the grant from the Secretary of State and the recoveries from ministries whose people get the service -- and $49,600 municipal.
Mr. Chairman, since we were a little off the vote a moment ago in talking about the affirmative action programme, I wonder if I might correct two errors that I made in answering the question from the hon. member for Peterborough (Ms. Sandeman)? First of all, the study on equal pay for work of equal value is not being done by the commission; it’s being done by the Ministry of Labour, and I am informed that it will be available in a matter of weeks.
The report of the women’s Crown employees’ office for the period that we were discussing from April to March this year, I am informed is not going to be complete by June; it will probably be complete by about the beginning of September, the executive director tells me.
Mr. Lewis: Why is that?
Hon. Mr. Auld: She said that’s when they had planned to have it done and that seemed to be about the time it would be done.
Mr. Warner: I am wondering two things: First, if the minister could respond to my request, as I would like an answer. Is there a formulation for the French-language services? Is there some sort of formula which can be attached to a bilingual coat?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I think there isn’t a formula because of the different kinds of training that is provided. I think the average cost per student last year -- and I don’t have it in front of me -- was $543. However, we have now started to calculate it on a more rational basis of man hours of training because of the variety of kinds of training. I am afraid I can’t give the hon. member a figure of the cost per hour yet.
Mr. Warner: Secondly, when you allude to the training that takes place, and I assume that some of it takes place in Ottawa, is that in any way in connection with the University of Ottawa?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I don’t think so. I think we provide all the staff. The courses are probably held in rented quarters somewhere. We have some 40 teachers who are on contract, as all teachers are, and the permanent staff who run the courses is five. I wouldn’t want to swear that we have never got extra teachers at some time or other for an unusual number of people on some course. I think most of the courses in Ottawa are held at Algonquin College, as a matter of fact, but I think that our own contract staff do it mainly.
Mr. Samis: J’aimerais poser quelques questions si possible.
Can you give us some idea of the number of civil servants we are talking about? We have the dollar figures here but can you give us the numbers that are being trained in the French language and can you compare that to the previous years for me? Don’t answer that one in French.
Hon. Mr. Auld: I will go back to 1968.
Mr. Samis: Okay, that’s fine.
Hon. Mr. Auld: In 1968, there were 72 students; in 1969, there were 501 and, in 1970, there were 530. Those were all provincial. In 1971, there were 396 provincial, 277 municipal and 194 federal. In 1972, there were 380 provincial, 358 municipal and 322 federal.
Then when we started to break it down into hours, to try to calculate the part-time, the full-time and short-term, immersion and so on, there were 55,400 man-hours of instruction for provincial students.
Mr. Samis: Excuse me, would it be possible to continue on the same categories that you have already outlined, just for the sake of continuity, rather than switching over to man-hours?
Hon. Mr. Auld: We must have the figures of the number of students but I don’t have them in front of me and I don’t think we have them with us. I am sure we could express it that way. We will have to give it to you, as I say, in the different kinds of courses. Because there were some people who may have taken, I suppose, 100 hours at two hours a week for a year, and other people who took 100 hours in two weeks of immersion.
Mr. Samis: What about the year just past? Do you have a figure on the number of people who have been in this programme?
Hon. Mr. Auld: No, but I’ll tell you. I could give the hon. member the man-hours if he would like them for 1973, 1974, 1975 and 1976. I’ll give them to him now, and I’ll get him the figures of the number of people in the next three or four days.
In 1973, the number of man-hours of instruction were 55,400 provincial; 27,100 municipal; and 74,900 federal. In 1974, 45,600 provincial; 33,900 municipal; and 97,600 federal. In 1975, 31,900 provincial; 21,000 municipal; 111,400 federal.
Mr. Samis: Could I ask how you would explain the continuing decline in the provincial number of man-hours from 1973 to 1975 -- from 55,000 to 45,000 to 31,000? Why are we declining in the number of man hours being spent on bilingualism and language training?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I assume it was because there weren’t that many people who either had applied or whose jobs required bilingual instruction. The hon. member must remember that there is a lot fewer provincial civil servants than federal. At a guess, I would say that that is probably the reason.
Mr. Samis: For those various years, can you give us some idea what percentage of the funds allotted to those programmes were federal funds, let’s say 1968 to 1974 -- to what extent was that federally-funded?
Hon. Mr. Auld: In the federal programme, there is a grant from the Secretary of State which is 50 per cent of provincial expenditure up to $100,000, so that that is part of the federal share -- and that’s for programmes for provincial and municipal employees. Then, in the rest of the programme where we do it for federal employees it is fully recovered.
Now, I don’t have in front of me the breakdown, but if you take the total cost for rough figuring, divide the number of federal hours into the rest, so to subtract what that cost, the feds share would be 50 per cent of the remaining cost up to a maximum of $100,000.
Mr. Sands: I think this is repetition, but could you give me the ball park figure for 1975 -- what per cent of that budget was federal again now?
Hon. Mr. Auld: Are you talking about the cost in 1975, or the man-hours? The cost?
Mr. Samis: The cost, please.
Hon. Mr. Auld: That was a total of $843,400, and the federal recovery is $277,400, with a net to the province of $565,000. Right? Well, I would say, without taking my shoes off to work it out.
Mr. Samis: I wouldn’t ask you to do that, by the way.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Well, I won’t pursue that as to reasons, but the total recovery from the feds was $277,400. Now, I would assume about $100,000 of that was from the Secretary of State and the other $177,000 was from federal ministries which bought the service.
Mr. Samis: Could I ask a fairly general question? Could you give us some idea of what these people are being trained for in this programme? Can you give us a general breakdown -- the positions that the language training is being used for in the civil service?
Hon. Mr. Auld: Well, I couldn’t. The operating ministers themselves, as far as the province is concerned, are the ones who decided there would be -- I suppose there could be probation officers; just about anybody I think. By and large the ministries attempt to find bilingual people in the skill that they require -- if they’re going to be working, say, in Hawkesbury or Penetanguishene or someplace like that.
Mr. Samis: Could I ask if you have any figure on the number of positions for which the government may designate bilingualism as a requirement, in eastern or northern Ontario, for example?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I’m not aware that anybody has ever gathered that information.
Mr. Samis: Are you aware of any jobs in eastern or northern Ontario where bilingualism is required in the provincial civil service, whether it be the court, education system -- let’s leave out translation service, but courts or education service or transport?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I’m sure that I could get the information but I’m afraid I don’t have it here. I have never inquired so I wouldn’t hazard a guess.
Mr. Samis: That wouldn’t be the stated provincial policy -- is it fair to ask that there are no regions for example in Prescott and Russell counties, or in Cochrane North, where bilingualism wouldn’t be regarded as an essential requirement for provincial civil servants?
Hon. Mr. Auld: As a matter of fact, I know in Environment when we had three inspectors working out of Ottawa who were bilingual and worked down the valley towards Hawkesbury and Lancaster --
Mr. Samis: All I am asking is if there are jobs where bilingualism is an essential requirement for hiring purposes in that part of the province.
Hon. Mr. Add: I’m afraid I don’t have that information, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Samis: Would it be possible to obtain that?
Hon. Mr. Auld: I will attempt to get it for the hon. member.
Mr. Samis: Thank you.
Mr. Warner: I realize that the minister has been put off by the zest and zeal of my colleague from Cornwall. However, could he respond to the request which was made a half hour ago, that he present to this House either his personal philosophy of the importance of the bilingual programme in this Province of Ontario, or that of the ministry, if it happens to be different from his own, so that somehow we have a grasp of what this government is aiming at in its bilingual services to those persons who are employed by the Province of Ontario in carrying out the duties and functions of their offices throughout this province?
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Chairman, I think I’d be delighted to look it up for the hon. member, but it seems to me that the Premier has made statements on several occasions as to what the government’s policy is. As a member of the government, I obviously support that policy.
Mr. Warner: It is identical.
Vote 506 agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: This completes the estimates of Management Board.
Hon. Mr. Auld moved the committee rise and repost.
Motion agreed to.
Mr. Chairman: Mr. Speaker, the committee of supply begs to report that it has reached certain resolutions and asks for leave to sit again.
Report agreed to.
Hon. Mr. Auld: Mr. Speaker, before moving the adjournment of the House I would inform the hon. members that the programme for tomorrow is budget debate.
Hon. Mr. Auld moved the adjournment of the House.
Motion agreed to.
The House adjourned at 9:56 p.m.