Workers across Ontario have been fighting for $15 and Fairness since April 2015! In that time, we have built a strong movement that has won real improvements for all those of us in low-wage, precarious jobs.
Through our movement, we have fought hard and made it impossible for governments to ignore us. We have proven that workers can pressure even the most anti-worker governments to respond to the crisis in our workplaces when we organize.
The pandemic has exposed the harsh realities of low-wage and precarious working conditions in Ontario. As the terrain shifts, hundreds of workers have been strategizing, discussing, and developing a new agenda for decent work.
As a result of these deliberations, May 1, 2021, International Workers’ Day (May Day) marked the official transition from the Fight for $15 and Fairness to Justice for Workers: Decent Work for All - the next phase of the Ontario-wide campaign for decent work.
To learn more about the demands and to stay involved, please visit https://www.justice4workers.org/movement.
Toronto -- The Ontario government’s Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB) falls far short of what health experts and worker advocates have been calling for. Even worse, the scheme provides less money to low-wage workers who would otherwise have qualified for the already flawed CRSB. Once again, low-wage racialized workers whose communities are being hardest hit by COVID-19 are being left behind.
The program is far from the “best paid sick day plan in North America” -- it is temporary until September and is only for COVID-19 related illness. At just three days, the WIPB does not offer the minimum 10 paid days that workers need - especially during a pandemic. But perhaps the most troubling aspect of this new scheme is the fact workers earning less than $23 an hour could actually be worse off under Premier Doug Ford’s WIPB than under the CRSB.Read more
Doug Ford’s April 22 press conference was an utter disappointment. There was no announcement for permanent employer-provided paid sick days. Instead, Ford gave vague promises of a "best in North America" sick leave plan and doubled-downed on his intention to provide more public subsidies for big business.
Corporations do not need more subsidies. For-profit long term care, corporate landlords and Rogers Communications are just some the thousands that already received $100 billion dollars in subsidies.  It’s time the likes Amazon and Loblaws pay their fair share and provide their workers paid sick days.
Take 5 Actions for Decent Work
We cannot afford to wait till the next election. Ontario's ICU’s are overflowing and too many of us are struggling to make ends meet. Here are 5 actions you can do this week to fight for decent work.
Have a 1-on-1 organizing conversation
Who you bring to the table is as important as what you bring to it. Take the time to talk to and organize your co-workers, friends and family. Then get them to affirm their support by signing our paid sick days petition.
Call and email your Member of Provincial Parliament
Ford is being forced to respond to the call for paid sick days but we can't stop till workers get the protections they need. Contact your MPP today and tell them you don’t want more policing; you want paid sick days that are employer-paid, permanent, universal and adequate.
Join us on May 1st for our campaign launch
Precarious work is a public health hazard. A decent work agenda must include not only paid sick days, but fair wages, equal benefits, hours we can live on and more. We want you - and the people you've been talking to - to be a part of the launch of our new decent work campaign on May 1st at 11am.
Safely take part in a direct action
With the weather warming up, it’s time to turn up the heat on our MPPs. Go for a walk and visit your local MPP office and decorate their office with sidewalk chalk and posters! Print one of our posters or design your own and tag us in your photos at @fairwagesnow.
Support the fight for decent work
We need your help to keep the our campaign for decent work going strong. Please consider making a donation to our campaign so we are one step closer to winning paid sick days and decent work.
ALL IN MAY 1! Justice for Workers
We want you to be a part of our new decent work campaign. When governments and CEO’s call essential workers “heroes” but refuse to support stronger labour laws during lockdowns, it tells us they consider our labour essential but not our lives.
Our Justice for Workers Campaign is calling for:
- 10 employer-paid paid sick days and 14 more during emergencies
- A $20 minimum wage with no exemptions for students and liquor servers
- Equal pay for equal work for part-time, contract and temp workers
- Adequate hour and fair schedules that we can live on
- Making it easier for us to join unions and end employer harassment
And much more!
Upcoming Actions from our Allies
Pathway to Permanent Residency Tool
Migrants! Use this online assessment tool to find out if you are eligible to apply for Permanent Residency under the new program announced by the Federal government, and what to do it you don't qualify. This tool is created by the Migrant Workers Alliance for Change, a migrant-led organization that support migrants to unite for their rights.
White People & Defunding Police: a webinar with SURJ & Mariame Kaba
Most white people in our lives have beliefs about policing that are shaped by our racist culture, not in reality. How do we help people understand what defunding the police means and move them to supporting it? Join SURJ and Mariame Kaba to explore what abolition means and how to get involved. Register through Zoom or watch via Facebook Livestream.
April 28, National Day of Mourning
This year, on the National Day of Mourning, we remember the workers killed or injured on the job and commit to continuing the fight for laws that improve worker health and safety. We reflect on the workers who died or fell ill while working through the COVID-19 pandemic. We demand that Premier Ford commit to the overdue health and safety recommendations that could have prevented countless deaths. The Ontario Federation of Labour is calling on provincial leaders to immediately:
- Legislate permanent paid sick days for all workers
- Provide the highest quality and amount of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to all workers
- Vaccinate equitably and strategically, starting with frontline workers and impacted communities
- Ensure all workers are covered by the workers’ compensation system
- Legislate and enforce preventative training standards
Mourn of the dead, fight for the Living: #10for10
#10for10 is a 10 minute coordinated workplace action demanding 10 paid sick days and safer working conditions for everyone in Ontario. On April 28th, the Day of Mourning, find your own way to take 10 minutes of action. Register your action today.
Protect good jobs and access to education in Sudbury
Laurentian University is in a crisis that will have devastating impacts. This crisis isn’t an isolated incident. Ford and his Conservative Government have made it clear that appeasing their wealthy corporate donors is a bigger priority to them than supporting good jobs and access to education in our communities. Sign on to protect good jobs and access to education. Share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Help us win PAID SICK DAYS for all!
Paid sick days save lives. Public health officers, big-city mayors, community and labour organizations are all calling for urgent action to legislate paid sick days.
The evidence shows paid sick days are effective at curbing transmission of infectious disease, including COVID-19.
- Yet, 58% of workers across Canada have no paid sick days, and that jumps to over 70% of low-income workers
- Even 75% of workers in the service sector, including food services, and 50% in health & social services sectors where the risk of exposure is highest, have no paid sick days
- No one should have to choose between staying home sick & paying the bills
- Black, Indigenous, and workers of colour are over-represented in low-wage, frontline work & are most at risk of becoming infected
- We hear a lot about thanking essential workers, but why is the government not protecting them with paid sick days?
Who to call
Let’s call our elected representatives to demand paid sick days now!
- Health Minister Christine Elliott: 416-327-4300
- Long-term care Minister Merrilee Fullerton: 613-599-3000
- Education Minister Stephen Lecce: 416-325-2600
- Premier Doug Ford: 416-325-1941 or 416-745-2859
- Labour Minister Monte McNaughton: 416-326-7600
- Premier Doug Ford: 416-325-1941 (Premier's office) and/or 416-745-2859 (Constituency office)
- Your OWN Conservative MPP: click here, scroll down, and enter your postal code: https://www.ola.org/en/members
(Feel free to change it up and make it your own!)
Hello, my name is _______. I am calling from ________.
I am outraged your party voted against Bill 239 that would have extended paid sick days to all workers. You and Premier Ford are ignoring recommendations from medical officers of health. Any claim your party has listened to and acted on expert advice is false. Your failure has contributed to the 3rd wave of COVID infections, resulting in preventable deaths, harm to our health and the health of the economy.
The very people who don’t have paid sick days at work are also least likely to access the federal sickness benefit. Far from getting both - as Ford suggests when he uses the term “double-dipping” - these workers get nothing.
Because of racism in the labour market, Black, Indigenous, and workers of colour are over-represented in jobs where paid sick days are not provided. By refusing to legislate paid sick days for all workers, you are reinforcing structural racism.
Bill 247 is coming up for a vote this week and would provide 10 employer-paid sick days for all of us. I am calling on you to vote in favour of Bill 247. The vast majority of Ontarians support paid sick days and if you vote against this bill, you will ensure that more workers in this province will die from COVID 19 and its more contagious variants.
Rest assured, if you do not vote for paid sick days in 2021, I and all my friends and neighbours, will be voting for paid sick days in the next election.
Ask a friend to do the same!
After you make your calls, consider phoning 5 of your friends or co-workers, to ask them to make similar calls. Share the url to this page with them, so they know what to do!
- Paid sick days fact sheet
- Paid sick days email petition
- Before it’s too late: Read the call to action report by health providers
For more information:
Premier Doug Ford and the rest of the Conservative Party caucus are making decisions that will lead to more sickness and death.
Instead of following the recommendations of health experts and worker advocates to implement employer-paid sick days, Ford unleashed new powers for the police to harass and ticket people who are just trying to survive this pandemic.
This is a racist response that will harm Black workers, Indigenous workers, workers of colour, and women workers. Racialized workers are least likely to have paid sick days and are more likely to be harassed and harmed by police. Even if police spokespeople say they won’t act on these new powers, this move emboldens racist cops and gives them confidence to act with impunity.
We must demand this government reverse course. Here’s what you can do:
- Join the Ontario-wide organizing meeting on Tuesday, April 20 at 7pm. Register now to receive the Zoom link.
- Call and email your MPP right now. Find your MPP here by scrolling down and typing in your postal code. Let them know you are furious with the government’s failure to protect us.
- Take part in the emergency May Day action. On Saturday, May 1st at 11am, we are putting this government on notice. If they don’t take action now, we will.
Ontario wants paid sick days!
A new Ontario public opinion poll shows the vast majority of us see paid sick days as essential for curbing workplace outbreaks and stopping the pandemic. Fear-mongering by big business lobby groups -- who claim paid sick days will harm the economy or cost jobs -- isn’t convincing to the public. Even 65% of Ford voters believe paid sick days will not harm the economy.
On May Day, let’s demand more than paid sick days
Join us on Saturday, May 1st at 11am to demand decent work for all. Let’s sound the alarm for paid sick days, decent wages, safe working conditions and good jobs for all. Please register to the May Day action and bring a friend.
Low-wage, precarious work is a threat to our collective health and well-being. Whether it is part-time and temp workers stringing together multiple jobs to make ends meet and accidentally spreading COVID-19; or workers without paid sick days who can’t afford to stay home at the first sign of symptoms; or parents sending sick kids to school because they can’t afford to lose a day’s pay to stay home with them -- a bold agenda for decent work is crucial in curbing COVID-19.
Will you join us on Saturday, May 1 at 11am to let every MPP know we expect them to be a decent work champion?
May 1: Countdown to justice
Our May Day action will also be the launch of the next phase of the decent work movement. After conducting hundreds of conversations with workers in low-wage and precarious work, it’s clear that Ontario is ready to fight for a new, bold vision for decent work. Join us on May Day as we call for:
- at least 10 employer-paid sick days permanently with another 14 paid days kicking in during public health outbreaks;
- an end to racist harassment, discrimination, and workplace bullying;
- a much higher minimum wage - at least $20 an hour - and annual cost of living adjustments;
- full-time work for all who want it and equal pay between full-time, directly-hired workers with those of us who must work part-time, casual, on contract or through temp agencies;
- easier access to unions; and
- real enforcement of the law.
Crucially, we must demand full immigration status for every worker so we are all protected by the laws and social safety net. None of us should be deported for standing up for decent work.
Upcoming events from our community and labour allies
Vaccines for all
Demand the federal and provincial governments ensure full access to the COVID-19 vaccine to all migrants, regardless of immigration status. Vaccines must be free; not require a health card; be accessible; and not be mandatory. No information about migrants must be collected or shared with immigration enforcement. All migrants must have access to universal healthcare immediately, regardless of immigration status. Full and permanent immigration status for all is essential in order to guarantee safe and healthy communities.
Solidarity is urgently needed for Prof. Aimé Avolonto, a Black professor who is facing termination by York University's President Rhonda Lenton following public comments he made to the media about anti-Black racism at York. Systemic anti-Black racism is nothing new at York University, but what is different about this case is Prof. Avolonto's refusal to back down and his insistence on having his complaints about anti-Black racism heard, despite York's attempts to cover them up.
- Catch Butterfly's community online exhibition on Instagram between April 17th and May 1st. This exhibition features photographs, voice and text messages contributed by the Butterfly community, and social media posts that share a layered timeline of Butterfly's history of activism, advocacy, and support work.
- Join the Day of Action to support Butterfly's advocacy work on Saturday, April 24 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm.
Curbing COVID, Fighting for Decent Work Panel
Join the Centre for Free Expression for a conversation about the connection between decent work and public health on Wednesday May 5th at 4pm.
Epicenters for COVID have been long-term care homes, warehouses, factories, and farms where workers feel pressured to be silent about what is happening to them and their communities. Join a panel of experts exploring how this happened, what it means for workers, and what can be done.
- Kit Andres, Migrant Farm Workers Organizer, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
- Syed Hussan, Executive Director, Migrant Workers Alliance for Change
- Gagandeep Kaur, Organizer, Peel Warehouse Workers Centre
- Deena Ladd, Executive Director, Workers’ Action Centre
- Moderated by Myer Siemiatycki, Professor Emeritus, Politics & Public Administration, Ryerson University
Ontario is facing yet another COVID crisis as Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott continue to ignore the advice of medical professionals as well as global evidence that adequate, seamlessly available, fully paid sick days are an indispensable for fighting COVID 19.
On World Health Day April 7, join us to demand legislated, employer-paid sick days for everyone. Click here to register.
Despite Ford’s claims that he will not hesitate to do everything possible, he has failed to implement the most basic and urgent provision to curb the spread of COVID and its variants: legislate paid sick days. Health Minister Christine Elliott has continued to repeat the false claim that paid sick days already exist. Meanwhile, almost everyone knows the federal program is temporary and inadequate. And the eligibility requirements exclude the very workers who don’t already have paid sick days at work.
By refusing to legislate paid sick days, Premier Doug Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott, and Labour Minister Monte McNaughton are prolonging the recovery and making another lockdown more likely. Nevertheless, the call for legislated paid sick days has overwhelming support across Ontario. And despite the defeat of private member’s Bill 239 that would have provided 7 permanent paid sick days plus an additional 14 paid sick days during public health outbreaks like COVID 19, another private member’s bill has already been tabled and passed first reading.
Bill 247 the Paid Personal Emergency Leave Now Act would provide 10 permanent, employer-paid emergency leave to cover sickness and other family emergencies.
April 7 is World Health Day
The overwhelming majority of Ontarians -- including health providers -- support legislated, fully-paid, and seamlessly accessible paid sick days for the 60% of workers who are currently denied this essential protection. As a member of the Decent Work and Health Network once observed: the only place Premier Ford has a majority is at Queen’s Park. That’s why it is essential for all of us to raise our voices loudly and demand the Ford government act on the will of Ontarians. Will you join us on April 7 at 6:30 pm to demand action on paid sick days?
We think World Health Day is an excellent occasion to call Health Minister Christine Elliott and other Conservative MPPs to sound the alarm for paid sick days for all of us.
It will also be a crucial opportunity to explain how white supremacy and racism are also threats to individual and public health and that denying paid sick days is a continuation of structural racism. As a result of racism in the labour market, Black, Indigenous, newcomers, and workers of colour are over-represented in part-time, low wage and precarious employment and as a result, are far less likely to have paid sick days and more likely to be in frontline jobs that put them in harm's way, especially during COVID.
Because the vast majority of part-time workers are paid less than their full-time counterparts, and because paid sick days are denied to part-time workers - even to those on the frontlines in health care - those in part-time work suffer directly and cumulatively as wages and all related entitlements from Employment Insurance to Canada Pension Plan are lower. Register for the phone ZAP here.
April 7 is Equal Pay Day
Equal Pay Day marks the number of additional days an average woman must work on top of her previous annual earnings to take home the same amount of money as their male counterparts did in a single calendar year.
The lack of paid sick days for women is an important contributor to women’s lower earnings. Because women still shoulder the burden of caring responsibilities in the household, women are more likely to work part-time as a means of balancing family and work responsibilities. Women are also more likely to be working part-time involuntarily, because of sexism in the labour market.
Black women, Indigenous women, racialized women and women with disabilities fare much worse than their white, able-bodied counterparts, as this Equal Pay Coalition info-graphic explains.
On April 7 - let’s let the Ford government know that decent work and paid sick days are matters of racial and gender justice. will you join us on April 7 at 6:30 pm to demand action on paid sick days? Please RSVP right now, and invite your friends, neighbours and coworkers to join you.
Register for the next Decent Work Organizing Meeting
The next provincial organizing meeting will be taking place on April 20 at 7:00 pm. Please register now and bring a friend. At that meeting we will be planning our provincial day of action on May 1 - the day we will be relaunching the campaign and setting the agenda for action today and in the next election.
May Day: Let’s put this government on notice
On May 1, let’s visit MPPs across the province to demand action. Click here to register to help put this government on notice that if they don’t act immediately to protect workers, we will take action now and in the next election.
The dramatic March 13 closure of a huge Amazon warehouse in Brampton shows how urgent it is for Premier Doug Ford to take action on paid sick days. Since October, over 600 workers at that warehouse have been infected by COVID-19 and its variants.  How many of these infections could have been prevented had Ontario taken medical officers’ health advice and moved quickly to ensure all workers have paid sick days?
Register right now for our March 23 online organizing meeting. Click here to RSVP and receive the Zoom link.
Ensuring that workers have the financial ability to stay home at the first sign of symptoms is now a matter of common sense to all but the Ford government. On March 1, while all opposition parties supported the NDP private member’s Bill 239 to provide paid sick days to all workers, Doug Ford’s Conservatives united to ensure the Bill was defeated.
This decision is short-sighted and dangerous to all of us, especially since COVID-19 infections and new variants are on the rise in Ontario. For as long as this government denies paid sick days to those of us who need them, we will continue to be forced to make the difficult decision to go to work sick to put food on the table or pay rent.
But let’s also be clear: this decision is racist. Because of racism in the labour market, white workers are more likely to have paid sick days in their jobs, more likely to be able to work from home and self-isolate, and, therefore, less likely to suffer financially when they take a sick day for anything from a headache to the flu.
Again, because of racism in the labour market, Black workers, Indigenous workers, workers of colour and newcomer workers are overrepresented in jobs that don’t provide paid sick days. These tend to be frontline service jobs where it is even more challenging for workers to protect themselves on the job without reprisals. And when we are simply too sick to work, there is a significant financial impact from losing even 1 or 2 days of work in a year.
See and share the full post on the Decent Work and Health Network's Instagram page here.
So, when our elected representatives deny paid sick days, they perpetuate racism and deepen the racial wage and wealth gap.
Vaccinations alone can’t substitute for paid sick days. Workers who need to get vaccinated must have paid sick days to get the shot and recover from any side-effects. It must also be said that the vaccination program is not expected to be complete until September, and even then, we know that some people will fall through the cracks. For all these reasons, paid sick days will continue to be a crucial tool in our COVID containment strategy now and in the future to protect everyone from common infectious disease and future public health outbreaks.
There is some good news. Thanks to your continued organizing, another paid sick days bill has already been tabled in the Ontario Legislative Assembly. Bill 247 would provide 10 permanent, employer-paid emergency leave days to all workers as a matter of law. It is expected to come up for a vote in April - so that means we still have time to organize and persuade Ford’s Conservatives to do the right thing by supporting Bill 247.
Click here to RSVP for the March 23 decent work organizing meeting.
You should also know that a recent news story quoted unnamed sources from within the Conservative caucus, saying they feel the pressure to respond to our relentless campaign to win paid sick days for all.  This tells us our work together has been effective, and we need to intensify the pressure on every single Conservative MPP in this province.
Now’s the time to organize phone zaps in your riding, to demand meetings with your local MPP and spread the word far and wide. Let’s send a message that Ontario expects this government to legislate sick days now. Join the March 23 online organizing meeting.
Read on for upcoming decent work actions, as well as related events organized by our allies.
March 18 - Ontario Federation of Labour: A People First Agenda - Help & Hope, An Anti-Racism Discussion
In recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, let’s talk about the groundwork we need to lay to ensure we have a government committed to transformative change and takes action to challenge injustice and address barriers for racialized people. Click here to RSVP.
March 20 - Free Them All: National Day of Action in Solidarity with Prisoners
March 20 marks one year since the first prisoner in Canada contracted COVID-19 at the Toronto South Detention Centre. More than 6,700 COVID-19 cases were linked to prisons and jails in the last year - including 4,971 prisoners, despite persistent calls to take immediate action to avoid preventable deaths. Click here to RSVP.
March 21 - Brampton Paid Sick Days phone zap
Join us on Sunday, March 21 at 2:00 pm for this emergency phone ZAP to demand paid sick days for all. We are outraged that Conservative Brampton MPPs voted against Bill 239, which would have legislated permanent paid sick days for all of us. Brampton has one of the highest proportions of COVID 19 infections in Ontario, and workplaces are a persistent source of infection. Click here to RSVP
March 27 - Education Assembly
Join the first virtual Province-Wide Education Assembly to discuss what Ontarians need from our education systems during COVID-19 and beyond. This Assembly unites workers, parents, and students from child care to post-secondary through education, inspiration, and action. We will use these discussions to understand better how to work together to advocate for decent work and increased public funding for education, from child care to post-secondary. Click here to RSVP
March 27 - Solidarity with Grassy Narrows
Grassy Narrows is the English name for the Ojibwe Indigenous nation: Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek. Approximately 90% of Grassy Narrows residents suffer from mercury poisoning. The poisoning results from Dryden Chemicals Ltd. dumping mercury into the English-Wabigoon River system between 1962 and 1970.
After many years of work by Grassy Narrows and supporters like you, the federal government signed an agreement last Spring with Grassy Narrows and committed to building a Mercury Care Home using the community’s design! But Grassy Narrows still needs to gain just compensation for all of its people for the ongoing mercury crisis, restore their health, way of life, self-determination, and protect their land and water from industrial logging and mining. Click here to RSVP
April 7 - Ottawa Paid Sick Days phone zap
Join us on Wednesday, April 7 at 7:00 pm as we plan the next steps for the decent work movement in Ottawa. Click here to RSVP
April 20 - Decent work organizing meeting
Thanks to your incredible effort, there is growing momentum for safe and healthy workplaces for all. From paid sick days to migrant justice and decent wages to safe schools, your actions make a difference! Join us for our monthly organizing meetings together with the Ontario Federation of Labour to mobilize for the month ahead. Please RSVP here to get emailed the zoom link closer to the meeting. Click here to RSVP
MAY 1 - SAVE THE DATE: Decent work campaign relaunch
For the past several months, leaders in the Fight for $15 and Fairness have been consulting with hundreds of workers in low-wage, part-time, temporary, and other precarious jobs to find out where to take the campaign in the months and years ahead. We are assessing the feedback and preparing to re-launch the campaign based on the priorities workers have identified. Save the date and join us on Saturday, May 1, as we unveil the next phase of the decent work phase.
WATCH and SHARE: Black on Campus
Watch on Youtube: Click here to watch!
CONTENT WARNING: This video contains a graphic image and language.
The Fifth Estate investigates anti-Black racism on Canadian campuses
"Black on campus" is a ground-breaking video documentary about anti-Black racism on Canadian campuses. It was originally broadcast on February 25, 2021, by The Fifth Estate, CBC's premier investigative journalism program. For the first time in a major network broadcast, "Black on campus" reveals the day-to-day reality of systemic anti-Black racism facing Black students, staff, and faculty in Canada's post-secondary system.
Please help us promote "Black on Campus" by forwarding this message to your contacts, networks, and members. If you study or work on campus in Canada or want to be part of the fight against anti-Black racism, this documentary is essential. Please watch it and share it. Click here to watch the segment. The run time is only 21 minutes.
After watching the documentary, share your feedback with The Fifth Estate and encourage the CBC to produce more content like "Black on campus." Email [email protected] or click here. Click here to read more about the broadcast.
We need you at the next organizing meeting this Tuesday at 7:00 pm! With overwhelming support for provincially-legislated paid sick days, better wages, and hours of work, there's never been a more urgent time to get involved in the fight for decent work.
Register right now (click here) and bring a friend!
For your calendar, the next organizing meetings are taking place on the following Tuesdays at 7:00 pm: March 23; April 20; and May 18. You can register online here.
We LIT it UP for Paid Sick Days: Keep the fire burning
Thousands of people across Ontario took action in support of paid sick days. Click here to see samples of the many actions that took place over Family Day weekend.
On February 16, when the Ontario Legislative Assembly resumed, we sent a loud, clear message to all MPPs that paid sick days save lives. New Democratic Party MPP Peggy Sattler called for all-party consent for her private member's Bill 239 which would, if adopted, provide 7 paid sick days permanently plus an additional 14 days during public health outbreaks like COVID-19. Both the Green Party of Ontario and the Ontario Liberal Party support Bill 239. All-party consent would have meant an expedited process for adopting Bill 239, but Conservative MPPs opposed the proposal.
As it stands, Bill 239 will come back for additional debate on February 25 and a second vote is expected the first week of March. The days ahead are crucial. All of us have a role to play in turning the widespread support for paid sick days into phone calls and emails directly to MPPs.
Here's what you can do:
Join or organize a paid sick days phone ZAP in your community.
Email us at [email protected] if you want to organize your own local phone ZAP.
- Call your MPP right now. Let them know that their action - or inaction - on paid sick days is a voting issue for you. If you don't know your MPP, click here and scroll down to the "Find my MPP" section where you can type in your postal code.
Send a personal email to your MPP. Be sure to track how many emails and calls you have made and ask your neighbours, co-workers, and friends to do the same.
- Use social media. #PaidSickDaysSaveLives and #PaidSickDays are great sources of inspiration. Tag your MPP and let them know you want them to pass Bill 239. Here's a sample tweet to get you started:
"I expect my MPP [tag them] to support Bill 239 which provides all workers with 7 permanent paid sick days and an additional 14 paid sick days during public health outbreaks. #PaidSickDaysSaveLives #PaidSickDays @FairWagesNow"
- Put up a poster. Download and print a sign here or make your own. Put your poster on your door or in your window. You could even put a few up in your neighbourhood or deliver a sign to your MPP.
Federal COVID-19 income supports
The Fight for $15 and Fairness is one of 37 community and labour organizations across Canada that signed a statement calling on the Federal Government to extend and improve Canada Recovery Benefits (CRB), Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefits (CRCB), and temporary Employment Insurance (EI) measures.
Within hours of releasing the statement, the federal government announced the CRB and CRCB would be extended by another 12 weeks and the temporary EI measures would be extended by another 24 weeks.
These are welcome steps forward, but we must demand that CRB and CRCB are also extended for at least another 24 weeks. The economy will not be fully recovered in 12 weeks. That's why we need an extension in federal COVID-19 income supports until at least the end of 2021 or whenever the economy has recovered. We also need permanent improvements in EI so that this vital program is there for us when we need it - now and in the future.
Click here to sign the petition.
Save the date: May 1 Decent work campaign re-launch
For the past several months, leaders in the Fight for $15 and Fairness have been consulting with hundreds of workers in low-wage, part-time, temporary, and other precarious jobs to find out where to take the campaign in the months and years ahead. We are assessing the feedback and preparing to re-launch the campaign based on the priorities workers have identified. Save the date and join us on Saturday, May 1 as we unveil the next phase of the movement for decent work.
Become a monthly supporter
As you know, the Fight for $15 and Fairness operates on a shoestring budget, with most of our infrastructure provided by the Workers' Action Centre (which is like a union of non-union workers). COVID-19 has hit everyone hard and we sorely need financial support to keep our movement going.
Could you help us by becoming a monthly donor? That means giving us a modest contribution each month so we can have a steady income and plan accordingly. Every amount - no matter how small or big - makes a huge difference to our work. Click here right now to become a monthly donor.
NEWS FROM OUR ALLIES
Anti-Black racism is rampant in workplaces across Canada. This is as true in post-secondary education as it is in any other workplace. Courageously, workers and students on campus have been speaking up and speaking out.
On Thursday, February 25 at 9:00 pm, CBC's flagship investigative documentary series, The Fifth Estate, will broadcast a ground-breaking episode about anti-Black racism in post-secondary education. Titled "Black on campus," the episode will examine the cases of a Black staff person, a Black professor, and a Black student, and what happened to them when they complained about anti-Black racism on each of their campuses.
Here's how to watch on February 25 at 9:00 pm:
- Watch on TV: on any local CBC channel.
- Watch online: on CBC Gem. Create a free CBC Gem account by clicking here.
Thank you for your ongoing solidarity and leadership. See you at the next organizing meeting on Tuesday, February 23 at 7:00 pm. Don't forget to register here to get the link -- and bring a friend.
See you there!
The Fight for $15 and Fairness is one of 43 community and labour organizations across Canada that have signed on to a statement calling on the Federal Government to extend and improve Canada Recovery Benefits, Canada Recovery Caregiver Benefits, and temporary Employment Insurance (EI) measures. Together we are calling on the government to immediately act on much-needed reforms to EI as well as other income supports that community and labour groups have long advocated. These include an EI review that leads to comprehensive, lasting reforms with expanded access and improved benefits.
Without immediate action, hundreds of thousands of workers will run out of income support on March 27. This will be a disaster for the affected workers and for the economy since these income supports flow to local businesses as workers buy groceries and other necessities.
Take action and email the Prime Minister and your MP:
Crisis Looms for Hundreds of Thousands Who Face a ‘Benefit Cliff’ as COVID-19 Recovery and EI Benefits Start to Run Out March 27
Des centaines de milliers de personnes risquent de se trouver en crise à l’épuisement de leurs prestations de relance économique et d’assurance-emploi (AE) à partir du 27 mars 2021
There is now near-universal support for legislated, adequate paid sick days for all of us.
Last December, the Ontario NDP tabled Bill 239 - The “Stay at Home when you are Sick” Act. This bill provides seven permanent paid sick days plus an additional 14 paid sick days during public health outbreaks. As the legislative assembly resumes, Bill 239 already passed first reading and is supported by both the Ontario Green Party and the Ontario Liberal Party.
All party-consent would mean this life-saving bill could be expedited and implemented almost immediately. Unfortunately, so far, Premier Doug Ford and the rest of the Ontario Conservative Party refuse to legislate paid sick days.
That’s why we need your help.
CAR CARAVAN FOR PAID SICK DAYS on February 16
On Tuesday, February 16, the Ontario Legislative Assembly is resuming. Let’s show Premier Ford that the whole province expects him to do his job by legislating paid sick days for all of us.
Our Car Caravan will circle Queen’s Park, and we will make as much noise as we can to make sure they hear us loudly inside -- and out. Please let us know right now if you can help with the car caravan by using this link to register.
On February 16, we will meet at Hart House at the University of Toronto (9 Hart House Circle) at 9:30 am. We will take the next 30 minutes to decorate our cars. At 10:00 am, we will head off together to bring our urgent message to Queen’s Park, and we will finish our action by 11:00 am.
Here's what you can do:
- Put a car in the caravan (click here to register)
- Amplify on social media - feel free to use this message:
#LightitUP for #PaidSickDays because #PaidSickDaysSaveLives
I expect my MPP to support Bill 239, which provides all workers with 7 permanent paid sick days and an additional 14 paid sick days during public health outbreaks.
- Share the Facebook event
- Call your MPP directly (even if you’ve already called them - you could ask for an online meeting)
- Talk to your friends, neighbours, and co-workers about why we all need paid sick days
ON FAMILY DAY: LIGHT IT UP for PAID SICK DAYS
Paid sick days are crucial for the well-being of all families. What better way to mark the holiday than shine a spotlight on the urgency of legislated paid sick days?
This family day (February 15), the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Fight for $15 and Fairness are joining forces to LIGHT IT UP for paid sick days.
Here's what you can do:
- Visit the Ontario Federation of Labour resource page here for a Paid Sick Days colouring book and other social media tools (coming this week).
- Make a home-made Paid Sick Days Save Lives signs with your kids, or download and print a poster.
- Put your signs and designs up on doors, windows, or even post them in your neighbourhoods.
- Snap selfies of your signs with yourself or with your family and post them on social media. Be sure to tag your MPP when you do.
- Share the Facebook event
- Light up the phone lines. Call your Member of Provincial Parliament to demand they support the Paid Sick Days Bill 239 as the first item of business when the legislature resumes. Then ask friends and other family members to do the same. You can find your MPP here (scroll to the bottom and enter your postal code).
- OR call into your favourite talk show to help spread the word.
- Light it Up for paid sick days between 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm: When the sun sets, light a candle, or turn on your porch lights, headlights, flashlights, cell phones, holiday lights, or LED lights and share your signs and designs over social media, to show your support for paid sick days.
- Feel free to use the following for social media:
#LightitUP for #PaidSickDays because #PaidSickDaysSaveLives
I expect my MPP to support Bill 239, which provides all workers with 7 permanent paid sick days and an additional 14 paid sick days during public health outbreaks.
Let's keep fighting for paid sick days!
The momentum keeps growing. Three more municipal councils have raised the call for legislated paid sick days: St. Catharines, London and Toronto. This is in addition to calls from Ontario’s Big City Mayors. And just this week, the Ottawa Board of Health voted to demand the Ontario government mandate paid sick leave, saying it is “an important tool for keeping the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases to a minimum.”
Even small businesses are speaking up to say paid sick days are critical for curbing the spread of infectious disease and avoiding future lockdowns. They want the government to legislate paid sick days to level the playing field. Many small businesses are already providing paid sick days. At the same time, big-box corporations like Loblaws, Walmart, and Amazon refuse to do so.
Let's raise our voices as loudly and as visibly as we possibly can. Every sitting MPP must feel the pressure from constituents that paid sick days are essential now -- and forever. Indeed, had paid sick days been in place before the COVID-19 outbreak, hundreds of people would still be alive today. It’s no exaggeration to say: paid sick days save lives.
Register now for the next decent work organizing meeting
Register now for the next decent work organizing meeting: Tuesday, February 23 at 7:00 pm. This meeting will be crucial to share the momentum and plan the next steps for decent work. Please RSVP right now (click here) and invite a friend. We need all hands on deck to ensure essential workers have essential protections. As we know so tragically well, none of us are safe unless all of us are safe.
NEWS FROM OUR ALLIES
The Ontario Federation of Labour is hosting an important town hall to talk about how we can make better use of public resources by redirecting funds from policing to the social programs and services we all need.
Speakers include Robyn Maynard – Canadian Author and Academic; El Jones – Spoken word poet, educator, journalist, and community activist; and Sarah Jama – Community organizer and advocate. To RSVP and learn more, click here.