Image shows healtchare worker sitting on the floor of a narrow hallway with white and neon yellow paint, looking exhausted, and gazing up towards the middle of the doorfram they're reclining against.

In the wake of the Omicron crisis, the Ford government needs to provide workers with 10 employer-paid sick days in Ontario, according to a group of more than 30 labour organizations.

In April, the province implemented the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Benefit, which required employers to give their staff three paid sick days for infectious disease emergency leave.

But most Ontarians still don’t have access to paid sick days, the Ontario Federation of Labour said in a joint press release endorsed by more than 30 labour organizations.

“Too many workers must choose between going to work sick or staying home and losing pay,” the statement reads. “When workers try to isolate, they can’t access testing to show their employers they’re sick.”

They call on the Ford government to legislate a minimum of 10 permanent, employer-paid sick days. The group also called for 14 paid sick days during the pandemic, and for workers who contract COVID on the job to have greater access to WSIB support.

….The joint statement also calls for an emergency summit of all stakeholders in the health care system, asks the government to ensure health care and educational institutions have protective equipment such as N95 masks and enhanced ventilation. They call for an emergency public health campaign.

The labour organizations included the Ontario Nurses’ Association, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, and CUPE Ontario.

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