TORONTO, ON – The Ford Conservatives have chosen chaos and confusion over delivering the paid sick days that a growing chorus of Ontarians has called for, said the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario.
“This is not the paid sick days we need,” said Fred Hahn, President of CUPE Ontario. “Health experts, including their own science advisory table, community organizations, and front-line workers have called for 10 permanent employer paid sick days. Instead the Conservatives announced three, and only until September 25. We’ve called for them to be employer-paid. Instead we got a plan that gives even more subsidies to Loblaws, Amazon, and Walmart.”
Additionally, CUPE Ontario criticizes the Ford Conservatives for failing to enshrine paid sick days in the Employment Standards Act (ESA), relying instead on the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB), whose staff are members of CUPE, to administer the pandemic-specific benefit.
“Despite the hard work of our front-line members who support injured workers, the WSIB started the pandemic with years of understaffing and chronic problems of overwork,” said Hahn. “Injured workers know this because wait times have been increasing for years. Our members at the WSIB learned about this program at the same time the rest of us did, at 3:15 today. Now the Ford Conservatives make this announcement of this half-measure, half-baked plan without even consulting with the very workers who will be integral to implementing it. It is the very definition of chaos.”
“But there is no mistake they’re feeling the pressure,” said Hahn. “Everyone engaged here needs to keep fighting for real paid sick days we need: permanent, universal, employer-paid, and accessible. That demand did not let up today. Today’s announcement only makes it clearer we must fight to get what every worker so desperately needs.”
For more information, contact:
Communications Representative, CUPE
[email protected] | 647-220-9739