PSAC Calls on Ontario Government to Assist Workers During the Crisis

Toronto – The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) is calling on the Ontario government to do more to protect workers during this public health crisis. Specifically, special paid leave, along with income supports, are crucial to assist families who have been suspended from work by their employers.

“It’s not enough to protect workers’ jobs during this time, people need access to income and financial assistance to weather this storm,” states Sharon DeSousa, PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President. “You cannot expect workers to be able to afford the next few weeks, isolated in their homes, without the financial capability to continue to afford food, medicine and other basic needs.”

The government must enact a strategy that also supports critical infrastructure for families, including greater resources for food banks, shelters, community services, and health care services. In addition, PSAC is standing with the Ontario Federation of Labour and the Canadian Labour Congress in demanding the following:

  • Provide at least 7 permanent paid sick days for all workers, and an additional 14 paid sick days during a crisis.
  • Provide 10 days of job-protected personal emergency leave for all workers.
  • Eliminate sick note requirements for all workers.
  • Ensure all workers have full job protection during a crisis.
  • Ensure full workers’ compensation to any worker who interacts with the public and that contracts health conditions related to Coronavirus/COVID-19.
  • Increase hospital funding immediately and by at least 5.3 per cent each year.

PSAC represents thousands of workers covered under provincial legislation, including in the gaming, academic, security, contract cleaning and health services sectors. Without strong government protections, workers will have little recourse in attaining safeguards while following recommended health protocols.

“There are many households who cannot afford to lose even a single paycheck.  With no set date for when this emergency may be over, the government should undertake any and all measures to protect families from income loss during this time.” 

For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Lino Vieira, Political Communications Officer, or 416-577-0238