Ontario workers are struggling to get by. More and more decent jobs are being replaced by low-wage and precarious work.
The minimum wage was frozen at $10.25 for four years, while food and transportation costs continued to rise. The Campaign to Raise the Minimum wage was launched in March 2013, with communities across Ontario. In 2014, thanks to province-wide mobilzation, the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage successfully pressured the Ontario government to increase the minimum wage from $10.25 to $11.00 an hour. We also won indexation – so that the minimum wage would be pegged to annual cost of living increases. In 2017, indexation brought the minimum wage up to $11.60.
Now in 2017, the government of Ontario has announced a package of reforms stemming from the Changing Workplaces Review and our Fight for $15 and Fairness Campaign. If enacted, the changes represent a huge victory for workers across Ontario! Some highlights:
- A $15 general minimum wage within 18 months (by January 1, 2019)
- Equal pay for part-time, casual, temporary and contract workers, including temporary agency workers
- Fairer scheduling
- An extra week’s paid vacation (after 5 years of services)
- 10 emergency leave days for all workers, two (2) of which will be paid and no doctor’s note will be required for any worker taking emergency leave
- Protection for contract service workers against contract flipping in the building services sector and publicly-funded institutions (like colleges and universities)
- A modest – but important – extension in card-based certification for union organizing
- Other measures to make it easier for workers to join unions
- An increase in public staffing resources for enforcement
- However, the fight is not over as nothing in the current plans is set in stone and we need to continue to fight to make sure that the legislation — Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148) — moves forward and is strengthened. Until Bill 148 becomes, law, nothing is guaranteed. The campaign has built a broad based alliance of unionized and nonunionized workers, healthcare workers, faith leaders, students and many others across the province.
The $15 and Fairness continues to fight for:
- Decent hours for decent incomes
- Paid sick days
- Equal Pay
- Worker’s Right to Organize
- Respect at Work
- Rules that protect everyone
- $15 minimum wage by 2019 and more with Bill 148
To find out more visit: http://15andfairness.org/