On July 21, the Ford government extended the Worker Income Protection Benefit (WIPB) until March 31, 2023 – without increasing the number of temporary paid sick days! This means that Ontario workers only have the same three temporary paid sick days available since April 2021 to use when sick. Workers are out of luck if they have used them as the government has only made three days available over a time period of 700+ days!
On August 8th as the Ontario government gets back to work, the opposition New Democratic Party will once again put forward a bill to bring in 10 permanent paid sick days. Send the premier an email to say you expect nothing less than adequate, legislated, employer-paid sick days. If you’re in Toronto on Monday, August 8, join the rally outside Queen’s Park at 12 pm to demand 10 permanent paid sick days and more!
The Ford government’s refusal to implement permanent paid sick days for any illness or injury flies in the face of all logic. Workers are human beings who get sick and injured – too often from the conditions of our work! That means we will always need at least 10 paid sick days per year. And we are now facing public health emergencies that require 14 additional paid sick days. The province is in a seventh wave of COVID-19, monkeypox has become a global health emergency and soon it will be flu season. It’s obvious that temporary paid sick days restricted to only one illness does not make sense. According to the Globe and Mail, by July 1st of this year the Ontario workers who accessed the WIPB had already used up an average of 2.5 temporary paid sick days .
Together, we have forced Premier Ford to change his mind before and we can do it again! Last month, we made hundreds of calls to the Premier, Minister of Labour and Minister of Health. Workers’ Action Centre members and Justice for Workers supporters came out in great numbers to outreach events encouraging people to take action for paid sick days. There’s still lots of summer outreach left for us to do together!
Join a Justice for Workers event to talk with workers and parents about the urgency for permanent paid sick days. Another major focus of our outreach is the historic chance to win permanent residency status and equal rights for hundreds of thousands of migrants and undocumented people (read our last update for details on regularization).
See you at Queen’s Park on August 8th at 12 noon to hold the government accountable. Let’s show the Conservatives how to really work for workers! When it comes to permanent paid sick days, it’s about time Ford gets it done.
 The Globe and Mail: Ontario extends COVID sick days but labour advocates say program is inadequate