On June 7, millions will head to the polls to pick the next premier of Ontario. Make no mistake. This is an important election where you need to make your voice heard.
The individuals we elect have a profound ability to affect the rights and livelihoods of workers and their families.
The decisions elected officials make can impact everything from your hydro bill to childcare costs to medication coverage.
You only need to look at Ontario’s increases to minimum wage to know the impact voters can have on the issues that shape their lives. Through the advocacy of union members and allies, we successfully pushed the Liberal government for massive changes, including increasing the minimum wage to $11.40 in 2016, $14 in 2018 and $15 in 2019.
We also achieved two personal emergency days and an increase to three weeks vacation after 5 years. While we made improvements, there is still room for further positive change.
The Ontario NDP is leading the way in calling for more paid sick days, improved vacation entitlement and cracking down on contract employment. They are also advocating to make it easier for workers to join unions. On the opposite side, the Conservatives are busy looking after the interests of big business and slowing down or getting rid of improvements which make life better for working families.
Each party has its own vision for workers. That’s why it is crucial for you to read about the different candidates, their platforms and make your voice heard.
Top 5 Wish List from Ontario Workers
With childcare costs totalling approximately $20,000 each year in the Greater Toronto Area, the time for affordable childcare is now. Ontario workers and their families deserve better. We are calling for a universal childcare program that will provide much-needed relief to families through affordable licensed and safe spaces.
Our Labour Laws need to be improved to better meet the needs of workers. Workers should have the right to join a union easily to improve their rights and working conditions at work. That’s why we believe Card-Check Certification is a must in 2018. We are calling on all parties to make Card-Check certification a reality for all Ontario workers. When more workers are unionized, it’s easier to raise the living conditions for society as a whole.
We are calling for a universal pharamacare program for Ontario residents, so no one has to go without much needed medications.
Currently employers are able to use extensive delay tactics to prevent workers, who join a union, from achieving a first contract. First-contract arbitration is key to help workers win rights and improvements in their workplace as soon as possible.
Our universal health care system is at the heart of a strong Ontario. Instead of paving the road for privatization as some parties are doing, it’s time to put more funding to support quality public healthcare in Ontario. Privatization will only create a two-tier system with the rich getting the highest level of care and the poor getting left behind.