NDP Fights Ontario Wynne Government Loophole Allowing Un-Equal Pay In Workplaces Across The Province

If the (Ontario Liberal government’s) legislation isn’t changed now before the law is passed, a loophole will exist that employers could exploit to continue to pay part-time, casual and temporary workers less—a move that disproportionately will impact women in this province.” – Welland Riding MPP Cindy Forster

A News Release from Ontario’s New Democratic Party and Welland Riding MPP and NDP Labour Critic Cindy Forster

Posted November 1st, 2017 on Niagara At Large

Queen’s Park, Toronto —In question period on Tuesday, NDP Labour critic Cindy Forster called on the Wynne government to fix a Liberal loophole written into the Wynne Liberal Labour bill that allows employers to continue to pay part-time and temporary workers less than others doing the same work. The loophole was introduced as a Liberal amendment to Bill 148 after the first round of committee hearings on the legislation over the summer.

“Mary Gellatly, with the Parkdale Community Legal Services and the $15 and Fairness campaign, made clear yesterday in committee that the Wynne Liberals have diluted legislation intended to protect workers, stating that the Liberal amendment ‘directly undermines the intent of the equal pay provisions,’ ” said Forster.

“If the goal, as the premier stated, is to eliminate the gap between part-time and full-time workers, then that’s what the legislation should do. But once again Premier Wynne has let us down. If the legislation isn’t changed now before the law is passed, a loophole will exist that employers could exploit to continue to pay part-time, casual and temporary workers less—a move that disproportionately will impact women in this province.”

The Liberal amendment allows an employee’s seniority to be defined by the number of hours worked—essentially placing temporary and part-time employees lower on the seniority list as they accumulate hours at a much slower rate than permanent employees.

“The premier and the labour minister read the paper this morning,” said Forster. “They know that the definition that they have put into legislation of seniority will allow employers to continue to pay part-time, casual and temporary workers less, giving employers less reason to actually provide good, stable, full-time jobs. This is not equal pay for equal work—period.”

“Will the premier and the Liberal government commit to closing the loophole that directly undermines the equal pay legislation?” asked Forster.

To hear or watch Welland Riding MPP raising this issue in the Ontario legislature at Queen’s Park, click on one of the following –  

Audio  https://www.dropbox.com/s/zvbkbn16yqy15j6/Q4_Forster_10-31-17.mp3?dl=0

Video  https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ecsxjqm3n2me1b/Q4_Forster_10-31-17.mp4?dl=0

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 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders

 

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6 responses to “NDP Fights Ontario Wynne Government Loophole Allowing Un-Equal Pay In Workplaces Across The Province

  1. A friend has worked for the NHS for well over 20 years. This individual is single. No other source of income. This means no health benefits. If this person gets sick (and has had injuries and sickness on occasion, as does everyone, some even work related) he/she has to pay for meds he/she cannot afford and miss paycheques that are vital for rent and bills. The number of hours accrued are almost equivalent to full time but when full time openings come up, sorry, you don’t get the job in spite of your years of devotion and obvious abilities because we don’t want the expense of giving you the recognition, pay and benefits you need and deserve. It is especially disgusting because this person, being single, has no back up in the form of a spouse, lived in the only dump he/she could afford and has to scrimp and save just to keep above water.

    This is currently the prevalent employer model in almost every area of endeavour. Remember the days when a handshake was your bond, employers and employees respected each other (thus having a sense of security AND being more productive and devoted), jobs were for life and greed was not the sole determinant of how people were treated? I do. Sadly newer generations never will. The almighty dollar is what counts. Why should a corporation make only $50 billion a year if they can make $51 billion? Poor dears! Too many businesses are so self centred and greedy that they don’t care about anyone else. Only the CEO’s (and politicians) get a “Golden Handshake” when they retire and even get bonuses when they screw up and actually lose their company money. The average Joe and Jane get a shove off of a cliff with no parachute. That is a sign of the demise of civil society.

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    • My understanding of the NHS employment pattern is that one is hired as a casual. As the person gains seniority he/she is eventually hired full time.

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      • Linda McKellar

        True about the NHS pattern Bill….BUT…. is 25 years of seniority, loyalty, skill and working the equivalent of full time hours not enough to be hired full time and get a few health benefits and an equal salary? This person will retire before that happens.

        This pattern is now the norm. When people cannot improve their situation, why should they reciprocate with hard work or loyalty?

        Hospitals are also replacing skilled, trained staff with outsourcing and generic workers to the detriment of staff and patients. This pattern applies everywhere from grocery checkers to labourers. It’s all about greed, not quality of service.

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      • I conclude that your friend is not in a unionized position. I agree with you re: current pattern for employment. Profits at the expense of the workers.

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  2. Are Ontario Universities next? Universities are using the same practice as the community colleges _ replacing full time workers with temporary workers.

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    • Bill – My friend is in a union but most unions involved in health care are pretty toothless and subject to binding arbitration with the arbitrators appointed by the government. Nurses, for example, can legally be threatened with a charge of “abandoning their patients” even for refusing a double shift. I have done a 24 hour shift a couple of times and did so in ICU where you must be alert at all times. I doubt someone in an auto factory gets charged with abandoning their Camaro. If you complain, they always find some excuse like “hiring visible minorities”.

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