July 27, 2020

Have your voice heard: CERB survey and upcoming actions

From fighting for permanent, employer-paid sick days for ALL, to demanding an extension of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), this was an incredible week full of action. Thanks to everyone, who participated online and offline! Let's keep this momentum up: read on to find out how we can collectively increase the pressure on politicians.

We need your input - take the CERB survey!

Millions of workers across the country will lose access to CERB at the end of August. But the pandemic is not over and many of us work in sectors that have either opened up a little or are not expected to open for months.


To get a more complete picture of what workers are experiencing and what changes are required, the Workers' Action Centre (member of the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign) created an important survey. This survey (click here) is intended for workers who have accessed CERB or who still hope to access CERB. If you are one of these workers, please take a moment to fill in the short survey, which only takes a few minutes. 

If you know others who should be invited to complete the survey, please forward it to them. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, July 31. Click here to complete the survey - then share it with others. 

Visit your Member of Parliament!

The federal government is making decisions right now about the future of CERB, as well as other income support policies. We urgently need to deliver a message to our federal Members of Parliament (MPs) that they must extend CERB to all who need it, for as long as necessary. 

Can you visit a local Member of Parliament this week or next -- click here to tell us when you can and access resources like posters that can be used to decorate their offices. Visits are already planned to MP Marco Mendocino's office this Saturday, July 25 (learn more) and MP Bill Morneau's office on Monday, July 27 (learn more) -- we need your help to make sure every MP hears us! 

When we visit our MPs, let’s also demand meaningful improvements to our Employment Insurance system. Too many workers cannot access EI when they need it because they don't get enough hours, or because arbitrary rules disqualify them from their entitlements. Still others may qualify for EI, but it runs out before they find work or it only provides the equivalent of 55% of previous earnings which is not enough to live on. Honestly, who can survive on 55% of the minimum wage or 55% of part-time hours? So let’s agree to visit as many Members of Parliament as soon as possible! If you can help out, click here.

download posters to decorate MP offices
Download posters here.

Everything you need to visit - and decorate - your local MP office is available on our resource page here: https://www.15andfairness.org/resources. Be sure to snap a picture and share it on social media. Please use the hashtags: #ExtendCERB #15andFairness #CdnPoli

Can't physically visit your MP's office? Or, want to keep building the pressure? We are planning a cross-country phone ZAP on Tuesday, August 11 where we all call Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, cabinet ministers, and MPs to demand protections, fairness and adequate income for all. Sign up now for the phone ZAP to get more details (click here) and mark your calendar!

Keep fighting for paid sick days!

This past Saturday, hundreds of us from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Vancouver, British Columbia took action to demand permanent, employer-paid paid sick days for everyone! Click here to see pictures from across the country. 

In response to ongoing public pressure for paid sick days, the federal government recently announced they will bring temporary income support for workers with COVID-related work absences. Even without the full details available, we know this temporary measure falls far short of what the majority of workers need to protect themselves and our communities. Every worker needs the financial ability to follow medical advice to stay home when sick. This is true for both COVID-19, and any other day-to-day or short term illnesses. We need this protection always; now (during the pandemic) and after. 

This is why we are redoubling our efforts across the country. Let’s start spreading the word that we aren’t stopping until every single worker has an adequate number of paid sick days permanently. Sign up now to join the Day of Action for Paid Sick Days on Saturday, August 29 (click here)

Join us at an action near you:

Your participation is crucial, to win decent work for all. Will you join us at our next online organizing meeting on Tuesday, August 18 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm EDT? Register now (click here) to get the log-in info: you can join online by dialing-in.

We meet every four weeks from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Subsequent meetings are scheduled for: September 15, October 13, and November 10. Since moving our organizing meetings online in April, hundreds of us have been involved in strategizing and planning. Scroll below to learn more about upcoming actions you can join us at.

July 25, at 2:00 pm - Visit Eglinton Lawrence MP Marco Mendicino

Help send a message to Eglinton Lawrence MP Marco Mendicino. Let him know we expect him to play a leading role in ensuring full immigration status for all, extending CERB, improving Employment Insurance, and honouring his government’s promise to implement a $15 federal minimum wage in 2020. Click here to sign up, here to spread the word on Facebook.

July 27, at 11:00 am - Visit Toronto Centre MP Bill Morneau

Help send a message to Toronto Centre MP Bill Morneau. Let him know we expect him to play a leading role in ensuring full immigration status for all, extending CERB, improving Employment Insurance, and honouring his government’s promise to implement a $15 federal minimum wage in 2020. Click here to sign up, here to spread the word on Facebook.

July 29, noon onward - Safe schools mean paid sick days for all! 

Ontario parents and education workers are uniting to ensure that schools have the funding, preparation, staffing, and training to safely re-open. Parents and education workers know parents need paid sick days so they can stay home when their children are sick. Parents and education workers also know that in the school system, every worker must have paid sick days as well, from bus drivers and crossing guards, to cleaners and educational assistants. Click here to find out how you can participate across Ontario.

August 3 at 2:00 pm - March for Black Students

Please take a stand to help transform our education system and combat anti-Black racism in schools. Although some steps have been made towards equity in education in Ontario schools, there remains a tremendous amount of work to be done in regards to mitigating and eliminating systemic anti-Black racism. Click here to join the action in Toronto, and here to learn more.

August 5 from 7:00 pm - WEBINAR: Pride goes on
Join the OFL Solidarity & Pride Committee for a webinar on the ways COVID-19 has been affecting 2SLGBTQI+ communities. The webinar will explore the ways that liberation groups can work together in this pivotal time and our intersectional commitment to justice for all. Click here to join the webinar and learn more.