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TORONTO, Ont. – The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario is proposing three new policy shifts that the government must make if it is serious about its poverty reduction strategy. These shifts include an end to low wage policies, an end to user fees and taxes for low-income people, and creative agreements with the public sector to address issues such as kids at risk and affordable housing, according to CUPE Ontario President Sid Ryan, who made a deputation at the province’s pre-budget hearings today.


“The government can’t be calling for reductions in poverty and, on the other hand, be promoting low wage policies,” Ryan told members of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs. “Given that a union job is the number one poverty fighter, this government needs to restore card-check based certification to make it easier for workers to join a union.“ Ryan cited the province’s home care competitive bidding policy as another low wage policy. Along with forcing frequent job changes, average wages for home care workers are approximately $12 an hour with little or no benefits, about $6 an hour less than what they would earn in a hospital. {more}

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