Other positive changes are outside the foundation. One of the most important of these is Bill 148, known as The Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. Passed last November, this bill is the culmination of the effort and determination of many organizations we work with including the Ontario Employment and Education Resource Centre and its partners: the Workers Action Centre, Caregivers Action Centre, and Migrant Workers Action Centre. And others like ACORN, Access Alliance Community Health Centre, and the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
This remarkable assemblage tirelessly advocated for many of the elements in this legislation. Bill 148 raised Ontario’s minimum wage to $14 an hour as of January 1, 2018, and increases it to $15 an hour on January 1, 2019. It guarantees employees up to ten emergency leave days annually. It mandates equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual, and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees; and equal pay for temporary help agency employees doing the same job as employees at the agencies’ client companies. It makes employee scheduling fairer.
There are times when our goals of achieving an equitable society seem impossibly difficult. Yet there are moments, perhaps rarer, when through communal effort, through the commitment to a unified vision, and through the power of partnerships, we are able to move towards justice and fairness for all who labour. This is one.
Sandy Houston, President and CEO, Metcalf Foundation