Paid sick days are back on the legislative agenda
Last year, the Ontario NDP broke ground by tabling legislation echoing our campaign demands for employer-paid sick days plus the 14 additional days during pandemics. Soon after, the Liberal's followed with their own paid sick days bill. In response, Doug Ford and his caucus voted down permanent paid sick days no less than 25 times.
But thanks to your support, paid sick days are back by popular demand. In the first week of the new fall legislative session, both the Ontario Liberals and the NDP tabled new paid sick day bills. (Bill 7, 10 Paid Sick Days for Ontario Workers Act, 2021 and Bill 8, Stay Home If You Are Sick Act, 2021). Both bills call for 10 permanent paid sick days with additional paid days during public health emergencies (10 and 14 days respectively).
74 days left to introduce federal paid sick days
During the Federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau committed to legislate 10 permanent paid sick days for federally-regulated workers within 100 days of their re-election, and convene the provinces to close the paid sick days gap across the country.
Now's the time to fight for a comprehensive vision for paid sick days. We need you to join us at the next Decent Work Organizing Meeting on Tuesday, October 19 at 7 pm EDT. Let's keep up the pressure to legislate paid sick days on our own federal and provincial representatives.
Will you be at the October Decent Work Organizing meeting?
Extend CRB. Fix Employment Insurance.
The Canada Recovery Benefit is set to expire on October 23rd. If the CRB is allowed to end it will be devastating for thousands of families across Canada, especially in areas of the country where COVID cases are dangerously high.
Eliminating CRB will not address the real cause of the labour shortage which is the exodus of workers from jobs with poverty wages, unsafe working conditions, and unstable hours. That’s why we must extend CRB and indeed restore the weekly benefits to at least $500 per week.
We also need to fix Employment Insurance to be more accessible, adequate and inclusive. This means:
- Restoring the $500 floor for weekly benefits;
- Reducing the required insurable hours to 12 weeks of work or 360 hours;
- Making all EI benefits available for at least a year;
- Eliminating unfair rules that punish workers for leaving exploitative work;
- Ensuring access for migrant workers; and
- Ending misclassification so gig workers can access EI and other entitlements.
Take action now and send an email to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other federal representatives.
Solidarity with gig-workers!
Premier Doug Ford is soon set to ram through legislation that will make it legal for app-based companies like Uber to misclassify their workforce. If allowed to proceed, this law will create a new category of employee that will permanently deny gig workers full protection under the law.
Jennifer Scott, President of Gig Workers United will host a breakout group at our organizing meeting on Tuesday, October 19, where we'll plan next steps in the fight to protect gig workers. Please RSVP here to receive the Zoom link to the meeting.
Stop wage theft at Cargo County Trucking
Workers at Cargo County Trucking company are facing wage theft, illegal deductions and unsafe working conditions. But even after being ordered by the government to pay their workers what they are owed, this company continues to evade their legal obligations and refuses to budge.
Will you take 5 minutes to phone Cargo County to let them know you support the workers? Tell them you won’t stop speaking out until workers receive their full pay. We've provided phone numbers, background information and suggested speaking notes.
Upcoming Events and Actions
Saturday, October 16 - 3:00 pm EDT
SCARBOROUGH: Decent work outreach blitz
Malvern Community Recreation Centre (Bus Stop)
Nineteen months into the pandemic and Ontario still doesn’t have fair wages for frontline workers or 10 permanent paid sick days!. Join us in Scarborough at Sewells Rd. and Brenyon Way (near the bus stop outside Malvern Community Centre). We’ll be talking to community members and asking them to sign our decent work petition.
Tuesday, October 19 - 7:00 pm
ONTARIO: Provincial Decent Work Organizing Meeting
Join us at the October 19 decent work organizing meeting where we’ll be hosting an emergency phone action on extending CRB and fixing EI. We'll also have breakout groups to fight for paid sick days, gig-workers, and more
RSVP to receive the Zoom link
Friday, October 22
CANADA-WIDE: Paid sick days phone ZAP Online
We need at least 10 permanent, universal, seamlessly accessible, fully-paid sick days now! No matter where you are across the country, we need your voice as we call for federal and provincial or territorial action.
Friday, October 22 - 6:00pm
ETOBICOKE: Paid sick days & Decent Work outreach blitz
Islington TTC Station
Join us for this outreach blitz in Etobicoke. We’ll be leading on the urgent need for paid sick days.
Sunday, October 24 - 11:00 am
BRAMPTON: Justice for Workers Organizing Meeting
Warehouse Workers’ Centre | 224 Rutherford Road South, Brampton
Join us on Sunday at 11 am to plan the next steps in the fight for justice for workers in Brampton. We will be doing a short training on how to meet with elected representatives so that we can be delivered the many signatures we have been collecting on our Decent Work petition.
Thursday, October 28 - 6:00 pm
ONTARIO: Decent Work and Health Network Organizing Meeting
Paid sick days and decent work are fundamental health issues. That's why Health providers are meeting on Thursday, October 28 to plan next steps in winning at least 10 permanent paid sick days federally and provincially.
If you’re a health worker, please RSVP to get the Zoom Link
Thursday, November 4 - 6:00 pm
DURHAM REGION: Paid sick days phone Zap!
The federal government is promising action on 10 paid sick days before the end of 2021. But we need also provincial legislation to protect the rest of us. We’ll be calling Durham Region elected officials to tell them we need 10 permanent, employer-paid sick days.
Saturday, November 6 - 12:00 noon
MILTON: Decent work planning meeting and outreach blitz
Milton Public Library Main Branch| 1010 Main Street East, Milton
We'll be meeting at 12 noon inside the Milton Public Library (Main Branch). Then we'll head out for another outreach blitz at 1:00 pm.
See you at next Tuesday’s decent work organizing meeting! And if you can’t make it, join us next month for our November 16 organizing meeting.
Rajean - for the Justice for Workers team