TORONTO, ON – The Ford Conservatives proposal to increase the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) instead of legislating paid sick days is not what Ontarians need, said the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.

“So many have been crystal clear from the early days of this crisis,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “Ontarians need the province to legislate universal, employer-provided, and permanent paid sick days that are easy to access. This demand, this necessity, has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with a program at the federal level, which is not paid sick leave. And any announcement tied to this federal program just continues the fallacy that Premier Ford has been repeating over and over trying to convince people otherwise.”

CUPE Ontario, representing 280,000 public sector workers, has been among a growing chorus of unions, health experts, community organizations, and everyday Ontarians who have noted that to fight COVID-19, we need paid sick time for all workers. The Federal plan is inaccessible as workers intending to access the benefit have complained of delays in payment, uncertainty around eligibility, the fact that they are not eligible if they miss less than 50 per cent of their work week, and that they can only apply after they’re sick.

“This has meant workers have remained stuck in the impossible place of knowing their regular pay cheque will fall short if they stay home from work when sick,” said Hahn. “We know far too many front-line, essential workers, including tens of thousands of CUPE Ontario members, remain without paid sick day. This proposal will do nothing to stop countless workers from being forced to make untenable decisions – and the Ford Conservative’s proposal does nothing to change that. It ignore science, ignores medical professionals, ignores communities, and frankly ignores their own voter base who overwhelmingly know we need permanent, employer paid sick leave as the law in Ontario.”

“The fact is that this is not paid sick days. It’s time to listen to the experts and legislate it now.”


For more information, contact:
Daniel Tseghay
Communications Representative, CUPE
[email protected] | 647-220-9739

Sign up for CUPE Ontario news.

    Your Full Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Are you a CUPE member?