Let’s make HOLIDAY season SOLIDARITY season!

November 25, 2022

Last week Premier Doug Ford had to capitulate on the regressive Bill 28 that attempted to curb the right of CUPE education workers to exercise their right to strike. But faced with a united working-class movement and the prospect of an indefinite general strike, Ford buckled. Indeed, he was more afraid of us than his corporate friends.

This gives us a glimpse of our power when we stand together. We'll need to remember this lesson and continue to organize so that, in the words of OPSEU president JP Hornick, we can be ready to shut the province down any time we need to. 

In this spirit, here's our solidarity calendar for the days ahead! 

The fight for paid sick days 

We have an opportunity to win paid sick days on Monday, November 28 when MPPs at Queen’s Park will be voting on NDP MPP Peggy Sattler’s Bill 4, the Stay Home If You Are Sick Act, 2022. If adopted, this bill would legislate 10 permanent paid sick days plus an additional 14 paid sick days during public health emergencies like COVID-19.

Paid Sick Days Social Media Blitz

As hospitals are flooded with children suffering from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), seasonal influenza, and COVID-19, it’s never been more clear that we all need at least 10 paid sick days each and every year so we can stay home with our sick kids as necessary or if we ourselves are sick. 

Forty percent of the workforce already has paid sick days, but those of us in frontline, low-wage, precarious employment are least likely to have them.

It's outrageous that Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Sylvia Jones and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton continue to deny paid sick days to those who need it most. 

With inflation rates at a 40-year high, missing a day of work can have devastating consequences. And despite repeated calls for us to stay home if we (or our kids) have symptoms, the Ontario government has done nothing to ensure we can actually afford to do so. 

Workers in Ontario deserve better.

Help let our elected representatives know WE are the majority and WE support 10 paid sick days for all workers. 

Here’s what you can do:

Child care workers are worth more! 

Join us on Wednesday, November 30 at 7:00 pm for an emergency phone action in support of decent work and wages for child care workers.

Child Care Workers Worth More

A child care staffing shortage, driven by low wages and poor working conditions, is threatening the accessibility of child care for families. Across Ontario, child care centres are closing rooms and limiting enrolment because they cannot retain staff in their programs.

Ontario’s current approach to the implementation of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care plan will not solve the crisis. The $18 per hour wage floor and $1 annual increase are far too low and leave out too many workers. Early Childhood Educators and child care workers are worth more! We need a provincial child care workforce strategy now.

Will you join us for this important phone action on Wednesday? 

Holiday solidarity

Support Kerry’s Place Workers 

SEIU Healthcare members at Kerry’s Place Autism Services are fighting for fair wage increases, paid sick days for part-time workers, and mental health days for the members who work with extremely vulnerable clients. Kerry’s Place workers are predominantly Autism Support Workers who face racism and harassment in the workplace from clients with little employer support. 

  • Join the solidarity rally: Monday, November 28 | 11:00 am to 1:00 pm | 17345 Leslie Street, Suite 200 | Newmarket

Support striking Teaching and Research Assistants at McMaster

McMaster University Teaching Assistants and Research Assistants, represented by CUPE 3906, have been forced to take strike action. The union’s key demands are: livable wages; extended funding and guaranteed work; tuition fee reimbursements to protect workers against loss of wages due to rising tuition fees; and the closing of the pay gap between graduate and undergraduate assistants. 

  • Join the solidarity rally: Tuesday, November 29 | 12:00 noon | McMaster University | 1280 Main Street West | Hamilton | Please meet at the Sterling Street picket line. 

Upcoming local events and actions

SCARBOROUGH: Friday, November 25 (TONIGHT!) 

Join our last Scarborough organizing meeting of the year!

Doors open at 5:30 pm, meeting starts at 6:00 pm. See what we accomplished this year and how we’ll keep fighting for decent work, paid sick days, and status for all next year. Around 7:00 pm, we will watch and discuss the Sold a Lie documentary about migrant students. 

GUELPH: Sunday, November 27

Join us on Sunday at 3:00 pm for a discussion of worker-owned cooperatives. Kody will briefly make the case for worker-owned cooperatives, and we’ll have a discussion of the role of cooperatives in a capitalist economy. 

TORONTO: Tuesday, November 29

Toronto End-of-Year Mtg & Holiday Social

Join us on Tuesday, November 29 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm for our last meeting of 2022. We’ll use the first hour to get our holiday solidarity organized -- then we’ll celebrate an amazing year of organizing, growth and some incredible wins. 

SUDBURY: Tuesday, November 29

Are you, or someone you know, a sick or injured worker dealing with WSIB or other compensation run-around? Looking for some peer support and help with your case, or want to connect with others dealing with similar issues? The Sudbury Workers’ Education and Advocacy Centre hosts monthly sick and injured peer support groups!

Thanks for all your ongoing support! Your solidarity makes a huge difference.