Now is the time to speak up for a $15 minimum wage for all workers.
Click to view this 3-minute video and share it with your friends and colleagues.
Today, the Ministry of Labour announced that Ontario’s general minimum wage would be adjusted upward by 15 cents an hour to keep up with rising prices. To be clear, this measure does not increase the minimum wage, it merely helps maintain the original $11.00 value that was established in 2014 by the Ontario government — thanks to the workers who organized for this important win two years ago.
However, then, as now, workers need far more than $11.00 or $12.00 an hour. Workers need at least $15 hourly to make ends meet in a full-time job. Workers also need a series of other important legislative measures to improve work and wages in this province.
Indexation was a key demand of the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage and is an important achievement, given that Ontario’s minimum wage has been frozen for 12 of the 20 years between 1995 and 2015.
Nevertheless, it is widely recognized that the Consumer Price Index — an average measurement of rising prices for consumer goods — does not quite reflect the way in which workers in low-income employment experience rising prices. For instance, low-income households tend to spend a greater portion of their income on food than on other consumer goods and the current 15% to 20% increase in the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables disproportionately affects those at the lower end of the income scale.
For this reason, the Fight for $15 & Fairness is renewing its call for a $15 minimum wage for all Ontario workers, regardless of their age, student status, job or sector of employment.
The Ontario government should use the occasion of the Changing Workplaces Review to re-set the province’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, and ensure a wage that lifts workers with 35 hours or more of work each week 10% above the poverty line. Ontario workers deserve nothing less.
Have you seen the poll announced today as part of the day of action against the rise of precarious work at Ontario universities?
Here is what workers are saying:
88% of Ontarians want part-time professors to be converted into full-time positions before more part-time professors are hired. 85% want part-time professors to receive fair pay and 84% believe part-time professors should have the same access to benefits as their full-time colleagues.
We’re not surprised.
These numbers echo what we’ve been hearing on the streets, at town halls, and at the deputations made to Ontario’s Ministry of Labour. Workers everywhere are demanding decent hours; equal pay for full-time, permanent, contract, temporary, part-time and casual employees; decent benefits, paid sick days and more.
- Take the pledge to support Ontario’s contract faculty members in their fight for equal pay, benefits and job security. You can also share your call for fairness by using the hashtag #precariousPSE on Twitter, and on the Facebook action page
- Sign the Harvesting Freedom petition to help migrant workers win permanent status, and close loopholes that make them vulnerable to exploitation. Learn more about campaign events, including the February 12 action, here
- Send a letter to Toronto Mayor John Tory to make the City a champion of good jobs. City of Toronto employees are leading a campaign for stable and secure jobs with decent wages and schedules.
- Join the 11th Annual Strawberry Ceremony for Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans & Two Spirit People on February 14 to honour missing and murdered indigenous women
- Come out for the International Women’s Day events happening March 5 to 8, to mark women’s fight for social, economic and environmental justice.
Sudbury Grey Bruce London Toronto Peel Region Mississauga Windsor Kitchener Waterloo
Keep the momentum going!
Inadequate employment standards and labour laws place downward pressure on the wages and working conditions of all of us.
2016 is the year to put a stop to this! The laws that govern our workplaces are under review right now.
Next fall, our elected officials will be deciding how far they are willing to go to make the changes we need to create decent work for all of us.
That’s why communities across the province are organizing now for the April 15 day of action; find out how you can join!
If so, we need your voice more than ever in the weeks and months ahead. Here’s why:
Seizing the Moment
Last year, the Ministry of Labour initiated the Changing Workplaces Review, a re-assessment of all our employment and labour laws. As part of this process, workers from Scarborough to Thunder Bay, from Windsor to Sudbury, mobilized to deliver deputations.
We are watching closely now for the interim report that will be published this spring, outlining a potential agenda for change. More importantly, we expect the final recommendations of the review to be released this summer, which will then get discussed in the provincial parliament.
We have to organize now, to ensure the best recommendations come forward and that our MPPs implement the changes.
What’s at Stake?
How we respond now will shape the future of work in Ontario.
Temporary agency workers should not earn any less than their colleagues on permanent contracts with whom they work side by side, doing the very same job. Retail workers should not have to juggle two or three jobs due to poverty wages and unpredictable hours. Students should not be expected to work for free for the privilege of a good reference and they deserve decent wages. We can put a stop to contract flipping, ensure stronger enforcement, and make sure all workers can join a union.
2016 is our year to raise employment standards for every worker in Ontario.
Organizing in a community near YOU
Mark your calendars — not only to come out, but also to bring along others or organize an event in your community. By sending a strong, united message and mobilizing in all corners of this province we can win the changes we need!
- April 15 – Day of Action for Fight for $15 & Fairness. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- October 7 – International Day for Decent Work. Save the date now for this important milestone where we’ll rally in response to the final recommendations made by the Changing Workplaces Review.
The Fight for $15 & Fairness Team
This is just a note to wish you a happy holiday season and to thank you for all your ongoing support for the Fight for $15 & Fairness. If you haven’t done so already, we hope you’ll send an email to Premier Kathleen Wynne asking her to change the laws to make work better for all of us in 2016.
Due to popular demand, we have posted the lyrics to our 2015 holiday carols for decent work on our website. We would love it if you, your friends, family and/or co-workers sang a carol or two and sent them to us in a video for sharing with Premier Kathleen Wynne and Labour Minister Kevin Flynn.
And to remind each and every one of you of all the good work we have done together this past year, we are sharing with you a few links that mark some of the 2015 Fight for $15 & Fairness highlights.
December Actions in Support of Retail Workers
Thanks Rabble.ca for publishing this! (Be sure to scroll all the way down to watch the video at the end!)
November Actions in Support of Paid Sick Days and Union Rights
Thanks Atkinson Foundation for compiling this! (The links are all live so you can watch the videos and share the tweets!)
now and in the future.Let’s make 2016 the year we win decent work for all.
Are you a part-timer, “just-in-time” hire, temp worker? Ontario’s retail and service sector workers are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Families are unable to make ends meet because of insufficient hours, ever-changing schedules and poverty wages.
This needs to stop!
Workers deserve a $15 minimum wage and fairness on the job. Join us in calling on Premier Kathleen Wynne to make decent jobs and wages her New Year’s resolution.
- Email the Premier to urge her to champion our decent work agenda in 2016.
Send a tweet to the Premier here tell her your holiday wishes for #15andFairness. Feel free to put the sample tweet below in your own words.
Dear @Kathleen_Wynne: Please make #15andFairness your New Year’s resolution for 2016! #OnPoli #CanLab #DecentWork
- If you are in Toronto, come out to today’s Holiday Caroling event between 11:30 and 1 pm at the Eaton Centre.
Wherever you are, keep your eyes on the #15andFairness Twitter feed at 1 pm for a surprise ending! With the provincial government reviewing employment laws, we have a real opportunity to improve working conditions for every Ontarian.
Ontario law leaves workers without protection when it comes to unstable hours and erratic schedules. Too many workers are on-call without pay, with no guarantee of hours or overtime. You can’t pay rent on question marks, nor can you buy groceries or arrange childcare.
Workers deserve decent hours that pay the bills, respect at work and predictable schedules. As the Ministry of Labour reviews employment laws, we have a unique opportunity to strengthen working conditions across the province.
Come out on Saturday, December 12, for a festive celebration in Toronto for retail and service sector workers. We’ll meet by Eaton Centre at the South-east corner of Dundas and Yonge at 11:30 am. There will be caroling, candy canes, holiday cards and much more! Bring out your friends and family!
Support North Bay workers who are organizing against severe economic hardships impacting workers, their families and communities. Show your solidarity online or join the Unity for Our Community Demonstration on December 12.
December has begun! Holiday songs are playing on the radio, festive decorations are coming out from their dusty boxes and the new year is around the corner!
This month we want to celebrate the workers who help us prepare for a wonderful holiday season. They put in long hours, greet us with a smile and help us meet the needs of our loved ones. Join us in wishing them a happy 2016 full of respect at work, predictable hours and schedules!
Outdated Labour Laws Fail Workers
Ontario law provides little protection against erratic schedules. Workers are denied dependable hours that they can plan their lives around, but are expected to be available on a moment’s notice. Without fair wages and decent hours, workers juggle two, sometimes three jobs to make ends meet. Many retail workers struggle with the stress of paying the bills and finding childcare.
As the Ministry of Labour continues its review of employment standards, we have a unique opportunity to improve work conditions across Ontario. Together we can win legislation that ensures respect at work as well as predictable hours and schedules.
Join the Action
Health providers know that we need better sick day policies in Ontario. Every day, they see the consequences of Ontario’s outdated laws in their clinics and emergency rooms.
Health workers and advocates organized during November, the start of the flu season, to call attention to the need for legislated paid sick days. And what a month it was! Together with $15 & Fairness supporters, health workers held a press conference, gave media interviews, launched a video, led an on-line action targeting elected officials as well as a street leaflet.
The response we heard through all of these actions was consistent. People are frustrated about the lack of meaningful paid sick leave policies in our province. They know that Ontarians deserve better! The number of people joining the Fight for $15 & Fairness Campaign is increasing every day. As the Ministry of Labour reviews employment and labour laws, we have a unique opportunity to win paid sick days legislation and much more!
Let’s Push This Agenda Forward
Through your support and hard work, we are getting responses from our elected officials about paid sick days. We will not stop until this policy as well as other decent work recommendations are adopted at Queen’s Park. Last Friday we were at the Minister of Health and Long-term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins’ constituency office to talk to his staff about the need for improved paid sick day policies. Later in December we will be meeting his senior advisers. We’re also continuing our efforts to meet the minister in person to deliver him the 900+ health provider signatures we’ve collected.
The beginning of December does not mark the end of the paid sick days campaign. Increasing number of health organizations, providers and advocates are reaching out to join this fight. Help us reach 1000 providers by the end of 2015.
Celebrating Retail and Service Sector Workers
With the start of the holiday season in December the Campaing for $15 & Fairness will champion the rights of Ontario’s retail and service sector workers. We will mobilize to ensure respect at work as well as predictable hours and schedules. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to find out about future actions!
Did you know that in Ontario employers are not required to provide paid sick days?
And that employers with fewer than 50 workers can legally fire someone for taking an unpaid sick day? This has to stop!
Today, Thursday November 19, people across Ontario are emailing and tweeting Premier Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Health Eric Hoskins, and Minister of Labour Kevin Flynn to ask them to legislate paid sick days for all workers.
Here’s what you can do:
Email the Premier, Minister of Health and Minister of Labour and tell them you support paid sick days for all Ontario workers.
Tweet the Premier and Ministers:
I support paid sick days for all Ontario workers! @Kathleen_Wynne @DrEricHoskins @MPPKevinFlynn #15andfairness #onpoli
Your support today will make a huge difference! As the Ministry of Labour reviews employment laws for the first time in decades, we have an unprecedented opportunity to win paid sick days for all Ontario workers.
Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long-term Care advises people to stay home if they are sick. For millions of workers, however, this is not an option.
Current employment law leaves workers without any paid sick day guarantees, forcing them to choose between their health and a paycheque. In addition, 1.6 million Ontarians risk losing their job even when they take an unpaid personal emergency leave day.
The Ontario government is reviewing labour laws – now is the time to act.