(TORONTO, ON) With Toronto and Peel joining nearly all of Ontario in entering Stage 2 of reopening, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario calls for a new normal with a permanent front-line pay increase. Until August 16, almost 400,000 front-line workers in Ontario will receive a $4/hour pandemic pay increase as an acknowledgement of the low wages many earn and as a recognition of their invaluable service. With reopening underway, CUPE Ontario is concerned that the pay increase will end – and the union is ramping up its call to make it permanent.
CUPE stands in solidarity with Indigenous communities and organizations across Canada who are demanding the action plan that was promised after the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls delivered its final report over a year ago. As recently as December 2019, Minister Bennett promised an action plan would be revealed by the one-year anniversary of the report’s release. That promise has been broken. Minister Bennett has blamed COVID-19 for the delay.
As more disturbing images and video footage of racism, white supremacy and violence emerge from the United States and Canada, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) wants to offer our solidarity to the Black community and our racialized membership. We acknowledge and respect your rage, fear, pain and the trauma these images and real-life experiences invoke. We share your grief and outrage. CUPE condemns these hateful acts and those who promote violence and racism.
Originally posted on cupe.on.ca Every year, on June 1, injured workers and allies gather at Queen’s Park for Injured Workers’ Day to celebrate a history of resistance, and collectively recommit to fighting for much-needed improvements. For the first time since 1983 we won’t be able to do so – but not because the issues we raise have been resolved. This unprecedented health and political crisis has in fact deepened the concerns and challenges injured workers and allies have long underscored.
Anti-Black racism is overwhelmingly present – sometimes surfacing suddenly; always systemic; consistently and needlessly burdening Black people everywhere. In this difficult moment when the worst of white supremacy is as clear as ever, CUPE Ontario shares in the collective grief and rage felt across Black communities. Today, we recommit to addressing anti-Black racism and white supremacy in all its forms, both inside and outside of the labour movement.. When it comes to treating every person like their life matters and isn’t disposable, we’ve failed.
On Saturday, April 25th the Ontario Government announced its intention to issue Pandemic Pay in the period from April 24th to August 12th for some workers in some workplaces. The program is to be financed through a combination of provincial and federal monies. Literally from the time of the announcement, there have been many questions about Pandemic Pay. This brief Q&A addresses these issues based on what we know as of May 7, 2020.
May is Asian and South Asian Heritage Month—a time to acknowledge and celebrate Asian and South Asian workers and communities in Canada. It is also a time to remember and honour the historic and ongoing activism of Asian and South Asian people in the fight for human rights and social justice. Asian and South Asian Canadians have faced discrimination throughout Canada’s history, including outright exclusion from membership in labour unions, the denial of the right to vote or run for public office, the Head Tax, the exploitation of Chinese railway workers, the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, and the Komagata Maru incident, among others.
On May 1, workers in Canada and around the world are organizing for safe working conditions, a living wage with benefits and a pension, and quality public services for everyone. Our collective demands for decent work, safety, dignity and respect are even more urgent this year, as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis has exposed serious gaps and inequities in our country, and between countries. It has shown what happens when public services are cut, privatized, or neglected.
Earlier this month, we lost a member of CUPE Ontario, a 58-year-old cleaner at the Brampton Civic Hospital, due to COVID-19. This is a devastating tragedy for the family and friends of the worker – and the 280,000 members of CUPE Ontario extend our sympathies and share in the deep feeling of loss. Today, on April 28, we remember this member as we commemorate the National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job.
TORONTO, ON – A wage increase for some Ontario health care and social service staff is belated recognition by the provincial government of the immense contribution and sacrifice this mostly female workforce is making in the fight against COVID-19, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said today. “It is also, in our view, a tacit admission that this government has finally come to terms with the consequences of their choices, which have led to a staffing crisis in the very services that they are now relying on to get us through this pandemic emergency,” says CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn.