December 7, 2018 Latest News

The announced closure of the GM plant in Oshawa. The current provincial government’s recent action to replace Bill 148 – Fair Workplace, Better Jobs Act with Bill 47 – Making Ontario Open for Business Act.

The government stating that getting everyone a job is a good strategy for addressing poverty.

No matter where you look, jobs have been in the news a lot lately so it seems like a good time to talk about jobs in Peterborough and their link to your health and wellbeing.

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December 7, 2018 Latest News

A rally against a wage freeze for clerical workers at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) is planned for outside the hospital at lunchtime on Tuesday.

Hospital spokesperson Michelene Ough wrote in an email that 247 unionized workers recently had their jobs re-evaluated.

Of those, Ough wrote:

•33 will not see their wages change, as a result of the re-evaluation;

•168 will have their wages frozen for three years;

•46 will have their pay frozen beyond 2022 (it will be 2026 before they get a raise, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union has stated).

“While the change in the rate of pay is effective immediately for new hires, the hospital has provided until April 1, 2019 for existing employees to move into other clerical positions within the hospital – should they choose to do so – at their current rate of pay,” Ough writes.

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November 28, 2018 Latest News

The Peterborough and District Labour Council will have a new president on Jan. 1.

Tyler Burns, a city bus driver and president of the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1320, was elected on Tuesday evening as incoming president of the Labour Council.

Marion Burton, who has been president for 12 years, didn’t seek re-election on Tuesday; she said in a phone interview immediately after the election that Burns will take over the role.

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November 28, 2018 Latest News

A group of 244 unionized clerical workers at Peterborough Regional Health Centre will have their wages frozen for the next five to eight years after a re-evaluation of their jobs — a move that the union president calls “unconscionable” and has vowed to fight, while the hospital says the re-evaluation was long overdue and done “objectively”.

Warren “Smokey” Thomas, president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU), said in a phone interview from Toronto on Tuesday that he doesn’t buy for a moment this idea that the job evaluations were impartially done.

“It’s just about one of the worst things I’ve seen an employer do,” he said, adding that “at the very minimum” the union will file grievances.

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November 16, 2018 Latest News

A former Ontario child advocate says she was “devastated” to learn that Premier Doug Ford’s government was scrapping the province’s child watchdog role.

Judy Finlay, now an associate professor at Ryerson University’s School of Child and Youth care, fears the move will increase the vulnerability of young people that the office had been advocating for.

Finlay was Ontario’s child and youth advocate from 1991 to 2007, when the role was under the ministry. In 2008, Irwin Elman became Ontario’s independent child advocate.

Three watchdog positions — environmental commissioner, French language services commissioner and the child advocate — are being eliminated as part of Premier Doug Ford’s fall economic statement. The government says the work will be taken over by the auditor general’s office and the ombudsman.

Children, Community and Social Services Minister Lisa MacLeod has said, “The fiercest child advocate in this province will be me.”

Finlay spoke with As It Happens host Carol Off. Here is part of that conversation:

How did you react when you heard the announcement that the Ontario child advocate post was being scrapped?

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November 15, 2018 Latest News

Removing workers’ right to two paid sick days and replacing them with unpaid emergency leave is “more progressive” for workers, Conservative MPPs said Thursday at a testy committee hearing for proposed new labour legislation.

Bill 47, which aims to undo numerous recently enacted measures including two paid sick days, equal pay for equal work, and a scheduled minimum wage bump to $15 in January, passed its second reading earlier this week and is now before the Finance and Economic Affairs committee.

Candace Rennick, secretary-treasurer for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said the rollback “makes picking on the poor a government priority” and called it “bizarre” to make workers choose between losing a day’s pay and coming into work ill.

Ontario workers are currently entitled to two paid sick days and eight unpaid leave days. The government wants to give workers eight unpaid leave days instead — three for illness, three for family responsibilities, and two for bereavement leave.

“We’re hearing that it’s more progressive,” said Conservative MPP for Thornhill Gila Martow of the new proposals.

“We are offering a very progressive package of leave,” she said, adding most other Canadians provinces do not offer paid sick days.

Prince Edward Island is currently the only province with paid sick days provisions. Some 146 jurisdictions around the world offer some form of compensation when employees are ill.

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October 25, 2018 Latest News

City of Kawartha Lakes residents added their voices to one of the largest public rallies at Queen’s Park, opposing the Doug Ford government’s plans for the future of health care.

Bonnie Kennedy, co-chair of the Kawartha Lakes Health Care Coalition with Barbara Doyle and Zack Miller, said the local group decided to join other coalition chapters Tuesday (Oct. 23) afternoon following meetings led by the Ontario Health Coalition regarding the proposed merger of Ross Memorial Hospital and the Peterborough Regional Health Centre.

“We decided we wanted to be more vocal about what is not only happening to health care in Ontario, but also our community hospital,” said Kennedy, adding the local group has also circulated a petition opposing the merger and is holding a Rally For Ross on Monday (Oct. 29) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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October 25, 2018 Latest News

Premier Doug Ford’s government will freeze Ontario’s minimum wage at $14 for another two years with a sweeping new bill that scraps many of the labour reforms brought in by the previous Liberal government in favour of a more pro-business agenda.

The omnibus legislation, unveiled Tuesday, is designed to fulfil one of Ford’s central campaign promises, to make Ontario “open for business.” It will change several provincial laws, notably employment standards.

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October 25, 2018 Latest News

TORONTO, ON (October 23, 2018) – Reducing wages and gutting protections for our provinces lowest paid workers proves Premier Ford is only interested in helping his corporate friends and has no problem hurting working people and their families to do it, says CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.

Hahn’s comments come following today’s announcement that Ford is not only cancelling the increase to minimum wage but is also reversing the legislation that reduced the ability of employers to exploit part-time, contract and temp agency workers. Ford is also cancelling the two paid sick days and fair notification of schedule changes for non-unionized workers.

“Scrapping protections for the most vulnerable and precarious workers in our province is not the actions of a government that is truly ‘for the people’. Today’s actions will hurt thousands of working people, hurt their families and it will ensure that Ontario’s economy only benefits those at the very top,” says Hahn. “All across Ontario, workers and their families are struggling. They used to have money at the end of week, now they have week at the end of the money. If the Premier really wants to protect workers, he will rethink his plan.”

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The Peterborough and District Labour Council (PDLC) is the central body of union locals in the Peterborough area (Peterborough County plus Omemee) who are affiliated with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).

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Email: info@ptbolabour.ca

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