April 01, 2018

Today: Equal pay for equal work becomes law

Decent work is going to be a defining issue in the Ontario election.

Millions of workers are already enjoying higher wages and better working conditions thanks to the improvements we have made in the law (Source 1: Financial Post). 

All workers now have 10 days of job-protected emergency leave and the first two of these are paid. Part-time workers are, for the first time, receiving the same holiday pay as full-time workers – a provision that the Big Business lobby opposes with a vengeance.

When equal pay for equal work becomes the law today on April 1, millions of part-time, contract, casual, seasonal and temporary workers will start receiving the same pay as their full-time/permanent and directly-hired counterparts. (For more information, download and distribute our new leaflet by clicking here.)

These are extraordinary wins.
But they are all in jeopardy in the upcoming Ontario election.

Conservative Leader Doug Ford has promised to scrap the $15 minimum wage, cut billions from our social programs and axe the very public sector staff we depend on to deliver the services we need (Source 2: Globe and Mail). If we look at the last time Ontario Conservatives formed government in the mid-1990s, they rolled back employment standards and made life harder for working people.

This time, the Conservatives are promising tax cuts for those earning less than $30,000. But the vast majority of us who earn less than $30,000 already pay no tax thanks to pre-existing tax credits. In other words, Doug Ford wants us to vote for a scheme that denies us decent wages while reducing taxes for the rich. The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has done the math to show why minimum wage earners are better off with higher wages than phoney tax cuts (Source 3: CCPA).

We need to do everything we can in the days ahead to spread the word about what we’ve won and why this election matters.

2018_Provincial_Strategy_Meeting_Video.pngOur decent work movement is growing!
Check out this short video to see the many people who are giving leadership to the Fight for $15 &
Fairness, then join us at an action near you!
View & share on Facebook | View & share on Twitter

Here’s what you can do right now:

  • Spread the word about our $15 and Fairness wins. Distribute these leaflets in your workplace, campus, community.
  • Organize a “Know your new rights” workshop in your workplace, campus, community. If you think you can assemble 15 people to participate, reply to this email and we will arrange to send workshop facilitators.
  • Put up a sign on your door, window or lawn and ask your friends and co-workers to do the same (you can download posters by clicking here).
  • Help us decorate Ontario with these beautiful window & lawn signs and banners (click here to fill out an order form).
  • Join in one of these crucial actions coming up in your community (scroll below for details) or host an event yourself.

Source 1: Click here for the Financial Post article
Source 2:
Click here for the Globe and Mail article
Source 3: Click here for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives analysis


UPCOMING EVENTS:

Tuesday, April 3

TORONTO
This Changes Everything/film screening and discussion
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM | Ryerson University School of Image Arts, 122 Bond Street | Click here for the map
Join Cinema Politica Ryerson's upcoming screening of This Changes Everything, directed by Avi Lewis and produced in conjunction with Lewis' partner Naomi Klein's bestselling book of the same name. The fight for good jobs and climate justice are linked, come and learn more! This event is free. 
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

Wednesday, April 4

ONTARIO-WIDE
Equal Pay Outreach Blitz
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM | On campuses and in communities across Ontario!
On April 4, we’re getting out on our campuses and in our communities to talk about Ontario’s new equal pay law. Let’s talk to students, staff and faculty on campus, and our neighbours in our communities to make sure everyone knows about our new rights! Here are some ideas:

- Hand out leaflets and talk to others about equal pay
- Chalk the sidewalks with equal pay for equal work messages
- Hold classroom "teach-ins" to educate students, many of whom are in precarious jobs, about their new rights
- Perform fun skits on equal pay for equal work
- Put up posters and forward this email to others to tell them about our new rights under Bill 148

All you need to participate is a couple of people, materials, and a location where there are people to talk to. To get materials and information about outreach blitzes near you, send an email to info@15andFairness.org or ask your question on the Facebook event page by clicking here. Below are some events that have already been announced for April 4 and more is coming soon!

KINGSTON
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM | St. Lawrence College, 100 Portsmouth Ave | Click here for the map
Join $15 & Fairness Kingston Chapter for a tabling session to raise awareness about equal pay for equal provisions in Bill 148 which come into effect across Ontario on April 1st.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

ST. CATHARINES
11:30 AM - 2:30 PM | Brock University, 1812 Sir Isaac Brock Way | Click here for the map
Join us on April 4. Let’s talk to students, staff and faculty to make sure everyone knows about our new rights! Looking forward to working with you to build a strong movement to ensure equal pay is enforced on our campuses and across the province. For more information please email qa13oz@brocku.ca.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

TORONTO
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM | York University, 4700 Keele St, Main Gate Picket Line | Click here for the map
Join us on the picket line to celebrate the introduction of new equal pay legislation and show support for striking CUPE 3903 members! York contract faculty, TA's, GA's are precarious part-time workers, and their strike demands reflect a lot of the concerns shared by precarious workers across Ontario. For more information, please e-mail campaigns@yugsa.ca.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

TORONTO
12:00 PM -  3:00 PM | Seneca College at York, 70 The Pond Rd | Click here for the map
Join us at the Computer Commons Hallway to learn about Ontario's new equal pay laws which come into effect across Ontario on April 1st.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

Thursday, April 5

TORONTO
Student Workers Know Your Rights Workshop
2:00 PM - 4:00  PM | 720 Spadina Avenue, Suite 223 |Click here for the map
Join Fight for $15 and Fairness UofT to learn about your new rights under the Employment Standards Act before starting your summer job this year. This workshop can accommodate 25 people so sign up early at the eventbrite link to reserve your spot (for free). We're looking forward to seeing you at this training. Get informed and teach your friends about your new rights! NOTE: Coffee and tea will be provided, gender-neutral washrooms on site, building fully accessible.
To reserve your seat click here, to share on Facebook click here.

HAMILTON
Hamilton Town Hall: Organizing for the Provincial Election
5:30 PM - 9:00 PM | Hamilton-Wentworth Elementary Teachers’ Local 105 Nebo Rd | Click here for the map
Join the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Hamilton District Labour Council for a special town hall. There is a lot at stake in this upcoming election. Come ready to roll up your sleeves, and strategize an effective ground campaign that inspires and motivates. Doors open at 5:30 PM with refreshments and a light meal, town hall is from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

Friday, April 6

TORONTO
Training for Medical Students - Ontario's New Employment Laws
12:00 PM - 1:00  PM|Medical Sciences Building, 1 King's College Circle |Click here for the map
The Decent Work and Health Network is pleased to join Social Justice in Medical Education in presenting training on these new laws, including how medical students can support patients in accessing their rights. Attend this lunchtime session in MSB 3153 to learn about how health provider advocacy contributed to the development of policy, some of the new protections for workers, and how to address issues related to employment laws when they arise in the clinic.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

Sunday, April 8 

BRAMPTON
Know Your Rights Workshop
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM | Royal Star Realty Inc.,170 Steelwell Road, #200 | Click here for the map
We have new labour laws as of January 1st including a $14 minimum wage, 10 personal leave days and many more. Join us to learn more about your new rights at work!
To save your spot click here, to share on Facebook click here.

BRAMPTON
Issues Around Temp Agency Work Meeting
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM | Royal Star Realty Inc.,170 Steelwell Road, #200 | Click here for the map
Are you a temp agency worker? Are you getting paid low wages or less than minimum wage? Are you forced to do unsafe work? Have you been working a long time at the same company without being hired directly? Join us to talk about how we can fight for better working conditions for all, including for so many of us working through temporary staffing agencies!
To save your spot click here, to share on Facebook click here.

OSHAWA
We Are Oshawa Annual General Meeting
2:00 PM
 | 61 Charles St, Room 217| Click here for the map
Join We Are Oshawa for the annual general meeting. Over the past weeks, we've organized an incredible series of mobilizations, first across Ontario then throughout the country in support of workers at Tim Hortons. The pressure we've created is working! We will be discussing this and more, as well as elections for the We Are Oshawa executive board and setting the agenda for the next year so please don’t miss this very important meeting.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

Monday, April 9

OTTAWA
Algonquin College - Know Your Rights Workshop!
2:30 PM - 4:30 PM | Algonquin College, E206 Student Commons | Click here for the map
Join Algonquin's Fight for $15 and Fairness Club for an afternoon of workers' rights education! We will be outlining our new rights under Bill 148 (Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act), and discussing what can be done to protect themCome out, enjoy some snacks, learn about your rights, and how we can enforce them together. NOTE: The Student Commons (E Building) is fully accessible, and has gender-inclusive washrooms.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

Tuesday , April 10

TORONTO
EQUAL PAY DAY RALLY 2018
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM | Northwest Corner of College St and University Ave | Click here for the map 
Join the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition for a rally outside Queen's Park. Bring friends and wear red to protest how unequal pay leaves women in the red!

When: Rally 12-1pm, followed by a visit to Queen's Park at 1pm
Where: The North West corner of College and University
What: Samba Squad! Food truck! Short speeches! Gender Priced Bake Sale! And much more!

To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

KINGSTON
Queen's University Equal Pay Day of Action
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM | Joseph S. Stauffer Library, 101 Union St | Click here for a map
Come on out and help us raise awareness of the gender pay gap in Ontario and the new Bill 148 legislation mandating equal pay for part-time and contract workers as of April 1st.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

TORONTO
Toronto-Wide Organizing Meeting
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM  | 720 Spadina Ave, Suite 202 | Click here for a map 
We are less than 100 days away from the Ontario election and are pulling out all the stops to make sure that decent work and the Fight for $15 & Fairness are central issues in this election. But we can't do it without you. Please join us for the next citywide organizing meeting to help us protect our legislative wins -- and fight for more. Please RSVP so we know how many snacks to provide! And please share this event with others who may want to get involved.
To save your spot click here, to share on Facebook click here.  

Thursday, April 12

OSHAWA
Provincial Election Town Hall: Durham
5:30 PM - 9:00 PM | IBEW Hall, 1001 Ritson Rd South | Click here for a map 
Join the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Durham Region Labour Council for a special town hall. There is a lot at stake in this upcoming election. Come ready to roll up your sleeves, and strategize an effective ground campaign that inspires and motivates. Doors open at 5:30 PM with refreshments and a light meal, town hall is from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.

Saturday, April 14

TORONTO
West Toronto $15 and Fairness Neighbourhood Canvass
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM | Jane and Wilson
Join us for a door-to-door canvass. Like we did in Davenport, we are going to be knocking on doors, talking to people about the changes to Ontario's labour laws, raising questions about decent work to ask candidates and trying to get people to put up lawn/window signs to show their support for $15 and Fairness.
To save your spot click here, to share on Facebook click here.

OTTAWA
Workers' Rights Workshop
2:00 - 4:00 PM | Jack Purcell Community Centre, 320 Jack Purcell Lane | Click here for a map
Join $15 & Fairness Ottawa and Pilipinong Migrante Sa Canada to learn about your new rights. Is your boss breaking the law by refusing paid leave? “Say NO to bad bosses, and YES to workers’ rights!” Come and learn about your right to paid emergency leave; paid vacation; equal pay; fairer schedules; and more. Snacks & drinks will be provided.
To RSVP and share on Facebook, click here.