Welcome to the Decent Work and Health Network! We are a group of health workers from across Ontario interested in developing evidence-based interventions that support decent work and health. Please explore our site and join us in creating better health outcomes for all!
New: Urgent call to action, June 1, 2017
Dear Network members and friends,
We have much to celebrate with the government’s proposed changes to Ontario’s employment laws, but corporate lobbyists are already pushing back, especially against the $15 minimum wage.
The fact that the government announced its support for $15 and legislating paid personal emergency days for all is a testament to our collective mobilizing. However, nothing is done yet. With the big business lobby arguing against every piece of labour law reform, we must raise our voices even louder.
We need to send a strong message to media and MPPs that we support the $15 minimum wage and paid sick days for all (the government has started with 2 paid days of personal emergency leave, but we’d like to see at least seven). We see these changes as crucial to improve the work and health of millions of Ontarians.
How can YOU help? See below for how you can use your special skills TODAY.
- Are you a doer? Email and/or call your MPP TODAY. Let them know what you support and what needs improvements in the proposed changes (see the $15 & Fairness campaign’s analysis of the announcement here: http://15andfairness.org/latest/historic-breakthrough-for-15-fairness/). Find your MPP’s contact info here: http://www.ontla.on.ca/web/members/member_addresses.do?locale=en. Then, follow up with a tweet tagging @DecentWorkHlth and add a comment on our Facebook page!
- Are you a motivator? Do the above AND share our Facebook post with your own story about how these changes will benefit you, your community, and/or people you serve. When you explain the impact in real terms, folks understand better why these changes are SO necessary. Tag friends who can do the same. Then comment on our page!
- Are you a writer? Draft a 50 to 200-word letter to the editor of a publication in your area (see http://bit.ly/2ruwffZ for addresses). Speak from your own perspective about why these changes are a big step forward and/or talk about businesses that are already taking these measures. Remember to include your full name, city and phone number – publications require this for verification but will only publish your name and city.
- Are you a storyteller? Consider submitting a longer piece to a publication (e.g. HuffingtonPost.ca: http://bit.ly/2a6vxwi). Get in touch with us for suggestions on how to frame your piece.
Thank you for taking action!
New: Statement on proposed employment law reforms, May 30, 2017
On Tuesday, May 30, the government announced sweeping changes to Ontario employment law, including increasing the minimum wage to $15 by 2019, ensuring equal pay for part-time and full-time workers doing the same work, and extending 10 days of personal emergency leave to all workers, including two paid days.
The Decent Work and Health Network is enthusiastic about these proposed changes and will continue to call for seven paid sick days for all Ontario workers as plans move through the legislative process.
Our full statement:
Decent Work and Health Network enthusiastic about changes announced to Ontario’s employment laws
May 30, 2017 – The Decent Work and Health Network is enthusiastic about the sweeping changes to Ontario workplace legislation announced by the government this morning.
“These changes are a big step forward, and we see the promise of decent work in what was announced,” said Dr. Kate Hayman, an emergency physician and member of the Decent Work and Health Network.
The changes include raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, ensuring equal pay for part-time and full-time workers doing the same work, and extending 10 days of personal emergency leave to all workers, including two paid days.
“Many Ontario health care providers have been calling for these changes and believe they will translate into improved health for individuals and communities,” stated Dr. Hayman. Yesterday, the Decent Work and Health Network sent the government an open letter on behalf of 45 Ontario health leaders calling for paid sick days.
While the government is moving in the right direction, the Decent Work and Health Network continues to call for 7 paid sick days to cover the range of people’s health needs, considering that
- The median length of influenza-like illness in health care providers in the U.S. was found to be 3 days, and providers are advised to wait an additional day without fever symptoms before returning to work
- Centers for Disease Control recommends that food workers stay away from work for at least 2 days after diarrhea or vomiting symptoms resolve
- Caregivers of children in daycare miss an average of 13 hours of work for each influenza-like illness in their child
We look forward to continuing the conversation on paid sick days as these plans move through the legislative process. Congratulations to our partners, members and supporters who have worked hard for these necessary reforms.
Open Letter, May 29, 2017
The Changing Workplaces Review final report, released on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, stopped short of recommending that the government introduce paid sick day policy. In response, 45 Ontario health leaders signed an open letter.
In the letter, they present the health evidence for paid sick days and call on the government to include this policy in forthcoming reforms to employment law.
Read the letter (linked below) and share it with your networks.