WIPB Extended! But we need to keep fighting for 10 permanent paid sick days for all

July 19, 2022

Thanks to you, we pushed Premier Doug Ford and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton to extend the Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB). Although the WIPB is inadequate, this small step forward has resulted in real improvements for those of us with the fewest protections.

For example, data from the Ministry of Labour [1] show that almost half a million workers have received nearly $200 million as a result of our forcing Ford to implement the WIPB. Can you imagine the impact when we win 10 permanent paid sick days for everyone?

Graphic says \

Extending the WIPB eligibility period is just another bandaid solution. It doesn't address the root problem of the lack of permanent, accessible and universal paid sick days. A total of only 3 paid sick days available from April 29, 2021 to March 31, 2023 makes no sense because:

  • We need more than 3 days to recover or self-isolate from COVID;
  • We can get COVID multiple times; and
  • We need multiple vaccinations which may require time off as well as recovery time for ourselves and our family.

In addition, the WIPB is only available for COVID-related issues. Workers cannot access the program for any other infectious illnesses.

For example, Ontario workers have zero paid sick days for monkeypox, which the World Health Organization has declared a "global health emergency." And new guidance by the Canadian federal government suggests this virus may spread through “respiratory particles, such as from talking, breathing, coughing or sneezing, during close contact” and urges us to “stay home and limit contact with others if you have symptoms.” [2]

The lack of adequate, permanent, universal and accessible paid sick days is a public health issue. It means too many of us in precarious jobs are forced to go to work sick or send our sick kids to school because we can’t afford to stay home.

Listen Up! Rally to tell Ford: No Cuts and Affordability Now

The Ontario Legislative Assembly is resuming on Monday, August 8 and we must send a strong message to the Ford government that we expect them to offer more than just bandaid solutions when it comes to public health.

We are joining the Ontario Federation of Labour at Queen’s Park on August 8 at 12:00 noon to let our MPPs know they have an obligation to protect our communities. This means legislation that provides all workers with 10 employer-paid sick days, each and every year. We must also demand reinvestment in public services from health care to education and an end to the anti-worker policies that drive workers out of these frontline, essential sectors and worsen the current crisis.

Can you join us on Monday, August 8 at 12:00 noon at Queen’s Park?

Register here

Can’t make it on August 8? No problem! Here are 4 actions you can take right now to win 10 paid sick days: 

  1. Join an outreach action in your neighbourhood to spread the word
  2. Phone your elected representatives
  3. Put up these posters in your neighbourhood or near an MPPs constituency office 
  4. Sign and share this online petition – using the hashtags: #Justice4Workers and #PaidSickDays

Don’t miss the next province-wide decent work organizing meeting!

Join us on Tuesday, August 23 at 7:00 pm at our next online organizing meeting. We can’t wait to hear from you about all your summer organizing, so please join us and bring a friend!

Will you be there on August 23 at 7:00 pm?  

Register here

 


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.

Local actions and events

Scroll down to see upcoming local actions and events. 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]

Photo from the Toronto Decent Work Picnic in Christie Pitts on June 2022

Saturday, July 30 | 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm 
SCARBOROUGH: Decent Work Outreach
Ayyappan Temple | 635 Middlefield Road 

Join us at this cultural festival to talk to the community about Justice for Workers! Your help is needed to hand out leaflets, put up posters and collect petition signatures. Meet us at the entrance of the Ayyappan Temple at 635 Middlefield Road.

Click here for more info and to RSVP

Sunday, August 7 | 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
HAMILTON: Picnic for Decent Work
Stuart Street Community Garden | 51 Stuart Street

We'll be talking about paid sick days, status for all migrants, and the next steps in the fight for decent work in Hamilton!
Click here for more info and to RSVP

Sunday, August 7 | 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
TORONTO: Outreach at Leslieville Farmers Market
Greenwood Park | 150 Greenwood Avenue 

Join us at the Leslieville Farmers Market for this outreach blitz where we'll be collecting signatures on petitions and leafleting about the campaign. 

Click here for more info and to RSVP

Wednesday, August 10 | 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
SUDBURY: All actions workers meeting
Online via Zoom

Join us to talk about: 

  • Temporary changes to Employment Insurance, workers’ benefits and other legislative changes;
  • Fairness for gig workers;
  • Status for all migrants;
  • Justice at Laurentian University! (Youth Action Committee, SOS (Save our Sudbury)

Click here for more info and to RSVP 

Saturday, August 13 | 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
TORONTO: Decent work outreach blitz
Dufferin and Bloor Streets | Dufferin TTC Station

Join us for this outreach blitz where we'll be collecting signatures on petitions and leafleting about paid sick days, status for all, and decent work for everyone! Meet at the northwest corner! 

Click here for more info and to RSVP

Sunday, August 14 | 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
GUELPH: Decent work organizing meeting
Royal City Park, Gazebo, 139 Gordon St

Join Guelph Justice for Workers for our next in-person organizing meeting. Come share your thoughts as we decide how to build the fight for decent work over the rest of the summer. 

Click here for more info and to RSVP

Saturday, August 20 | 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
TORONTO: Decent work outreach blitz
Lansdowne NoFrills | 222 Lansdowne Avenue

Meet at the northwest corner of Bloor and Dufferin | Dufferin TTC Station

Join us at the Lansdowne NoFrills where we'll be collecting signatures on petitions and leafleting about the campaign. We'll be talking to workers, friends and neighbours about why we all need paid sick days, full immigration status, and decent work for all. 

Click here for more info and to RSVP

Tuesday, August 30 | 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm
TORONTO: IN-PERSON decent work organizing meeting
Suite 202 | 720 Spadina Avenue

We can’t wait to see everyone across the GTA to debrief about all our summer activity, to plan next steps and get organized for the next phase of the fight for justice for workers! We’ll have refreshments at 5:30 pm so please come early and bring a friend. We’ll start the meeting at 6:00 pm. See you then! 

Click here for more info and to RSVP


More actions come online every week, so be sure to check out our meetings and events page regularly!

[1] June 21, 2022 - Toronto Star: Ontario government extends paid COVID-19 sick leave program — but catch it more than once and you’re out of luck

 [2] Government of Canada: Monkeypox: How it spreads, prevention and risks