Ontario’s 3 temporary COVID-related paid sick days are set to expire on July 31. By now, it should be clear to the Ford government that all workers need paid sick leave to protect themselves, their families and the public. Remind the Premier that we won’t back down: Send an email demanding 10 permanent paid sick days.
Over 160 physicians and healthcare workers signed an open letter by the Decent Work and Health Network demanding that the province finally legislate 10 permanent paid sick days. In Friday’s Toronto Star article, health workers expressed their disapproval of the lack of adequate paid sick days: “it’s unacceptable the province has not already made the change, two years into a pandemic that has disproportionately led to the hospitalization of racialized and low-income workers who do not have sick leave.”  If you are a personal support worker, nurse or other healthcare worker, please add your name to the open letter.
The 3 temporary paid sick days offered through the Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB) have been completely insufficient to address the health crisis that workers in Ontario have been facing. The WIPB program was never the effective, easy-to-access paid sick leave that workers and healthcare providers have demanded since long before the pandemic. From the beginning, three days was inadequate and became even more so when the program was extended without any added paid days off! Workers who had to take their three days back in 2021 have had no vital sick days to use to stay home when sick or to get vaccinated, let alone to take care of a loved one.
Download and print the new paid sick days leaflet and poster at Justice4Workers.org/resources.
Ontario workers need more than another extension of a measly 3 temporary paid sick days that can only be used for COVID-related reasons. A just recovery for this province needs to include paid sick days for all illnesses, injuries and regular health check-ups. We need an effective, permanent, universal paid sick leave program that has no barriers to access, and is paid by employers directly on our paycheques.
Our organizing brought us from zero to three temporary paid sick days. We can’t give up at this critical moment! Send a letter to the Premier and ask your family and co-workers to do the same. Please sign up for the Tuesday, July 12th Emergency Phone Zap for 10 Paid Sick Days at 5:30 pm and invite your friends! Check out Justice4Workers.org to join in the summer outreach activities for paid sick days and justice for workers. Use the new leaflet and poster to spread the word in your community. Stay safe and see you in the streets.