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The Globe and Mail

Ontario's eHealth rescinds bonuses handed out during wage freeze

eHealth Ontario is rescinding bonuses and merit pay for hundreds of bureaucrats handed out despite a promised two-year wage freeze for public sector workers.

eHealth CEO Greg Reed says he hopes the reversal will show the agency's first priority is creating the electronic health care system the province needs.

Mr. Reed says the bonuses were meant to reward the progress made in turning around the scandal-plagued agency, which came under fire in 2009 for spending $1-billion trying to develop electronic health records with little to show for it.

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Employees will no longer receive merit increases and performance-linked incentives this year, and Mr. Reed has also turned down his bonus.

The move comes after opposition parties demanded the Liberal government put a stop to the hikes, saying it's unfair to freeze pay for front-line health care workers like nurses while giving eHealth bureaucrats big raises.

The electronic health records agency was planning to give staff 1.9 per cent merit raises and bonuses of 7.8 per cent.

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