Ontario paid sick days set to expire July 31
With the provincial election behind us and the summer warming up, there’s no better time to hit the streets and keep building our decent work movement.
And it’s urgent we do so because Ontario's three paid sick days are set to end on July 31.
We know that low-wage frontline workers are more likely to get sick from the workplace and have the least health and safety protections. Without access to permanent paid sick leave, workers will continue to be forced to choose between going to work sick or losing pay.
One of Doug Ford's first acts as Premier was cancelling our two permanent paid sick days. Yet last year, we forced Premier Ford to pass legislation to provide three temporary paid sick days for COVID-19. However imperfect, we should feel proud that we moved Ford to pass this legislation.
But the legislation is set to expire in just a few weeks. It's urgent that we redouble our effort for permanent, employer-paid sick days for all workers. Will you sign and share the petition for 10 permanent paid sick days?
Paid Sick Days Emergency Phone Zap
In addition to sending an email, we want to make sure Premier Ford hears our voices directly. That's why we are hosting an emergency phone action on Tuesday, July 12 at 5:30 pm. Please RSVP now: Emergency Phone Zap: for 10 Paid Sick Days.
For this Phone Zap, we'll meet on Zoom, prepare ourselves with some talking points, then we will take a few minutes to call the Premier as well as the Labour and Health ministers (we expect the new cabinet to be announced by the end of June.)
Did you miss our June 7 organizing meeting? No worries! Here's a 4-point recap and a video of the conversation kick-off (click here to watch the video):
Deena Ladd from the Workers’ Action Centre and David Bush from the Income Security Advocacy Centre kicked off our discussion. Both emphasized the fact that less than 18% of eligible voters cast a ballot for Doug Ford's Conservatives. Ford’s majority in Queens Park does not signal sweeping support for the Conservative's agenda.
We have moved decent work to the centre of Ontario’s political agenda. At least three parties included our decent work demands in their election platform and during the election campaign, both the Green Party and the New Democratic Party improved their platforms. Even the Conservative Party under Doug Ford moved his campaign message box from “Open for Business” in 2018 to “Working for Workers” in 2022.
The strength of our decent work agenda has grown. As Deena asked at the meeting: "Has our movement grown? Do we feel stronger than previously? Are we more deeply rooted than we were before?" To help us answer those questions, here are a few highlights from the Justice for Workers movement.
- Since January, more than 25,000 people participated in our campaign and more than 4,000 people joined the campaign.
- Through the Building Worker Power workshops, we trained more than 400 people from diverse communities.
- In 25 weeks, local leaders organized over 130 events, workshops, outreach blitzes, meetings, and phone zaps right across the province. That’s an average of almost 6 events per week for 25 weeks!
- We organized in a variety of communities and produced election materials in seven different languages: Bengali, Chinese, English, Punjabi, Somali, Spanish and Tamil.
- This election, 85 provincial candidates took the pledge to go beyond the party platforms to be a Decent Work Champion – compared to just 31 candidates in 2018. This year, 28 of those candidates were elected and 25 came in 2nd.
- In our breakout room discussions, every group reported a sense of excitement to keep up the fight for decent work. Ideas included using the summer months to engage our new leaders and supporters and focus on skills-sharing to make our movement stronger.
Next Ontario organizing meeting
We’re skipping our July organizing meeting to give everyone a chance to organize local events over the summer. Our next Ontario organizing meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 23 at 7:00 pm.
Can we count on you to bring new folks to our next provincial meeting on August 23 at 7:00 pm?
After August 23, we'll resume meeting every four weeks on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm. Please mark these upcoming dates in your calendars: September 20, October 18, and November 15.
Lawn & Window Signs
Lawn and window signs are still a great way to increase the visibility of the campaign in your community. Put up a sign showing you are proud to support decent work for all. Click here to request a lawn or window sign and feel free to order a few more to share with your friends.
Local Actions & Outreach Events
For upcoming local events, please visit our Meetings & Events page here. And if you have an idea for an action or need support to organize an event in your community, please send us an email at [email protected].