As the Ontario government prepares its budget, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) says that the next budget must build Ontarians up with plans that create stable, well-paid work and take on systemic issues that keep Ontarians from prospering.
Ontario’s labour and employment laws are outdated and do not consider the rise in precarious work – work that is low-waged, temporary, or part-time. The OFL hopes that the next budget will encourage real change through the Changing Workplaces Review, which offers an opportunity to ensure workers are treated and paid fairly across Ontario, whether they are unionized or not.
Women, racialized people, young people, survivors of sexual and domestic violence, injured workers and people with disabilities are most at risk of economic hardship in our province, and the OFL urges the government to continue the work it has started through the creation of the Anti-Racism Directorate and the final report and recommendations of the Gender Wage Gap Strategy Steering Committee.
“For millions of Ontario workers – who find themselves in a constant state of uncertainty – maintaining the status quo is not an option,” said OFL President Chris Buckley. “Meaningful changes to the Employment Standards Act and Labour Relations Act are needed to make it easier to join and keep a union as well as raise the bar for all workers.”
“The 2017 Budget is a chance to show Ontarians the values that guide policy decisions. The budget should set out funding for programs that will support improvements in the lives of all Ontarians,” added Buckley.
This new budget should ensure that domestic violence survivors have access to paid leave to rebuild their lives, that injured workers can access the compensation they need, that students do not graduate with unmanageable debt, that workplace standards are enforced across the province and that it is easier for Ontarians to join and keep a union.
The OFL values the role the next budget will play in shaping public policy. The recommendations listed in the OFL pre-budget submission aim to reduce inequality in our province and to make real change in the lives of Ontario workers, reduce poverty, and by creating a fair society, build all Ontarians up.
To read the OFL submission, click here.