Supporting Their Essential Service: Healthcare Workers, Volunteer Firefighters, and Construction Workers
/ Author: CLAC Staff
/ Categories: Policy Briefs /
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Supporting Their Essential Service: Healthcare Workers, Volunteer Firefighters, and Construction Workers

2024 Prebudget Submission to the Ontario Government

CLAC is pleased to participate in the prebud­get process and offer recommendations for the 2024 Ontario budget.

Our recommendations can be summarized as follows. 

Healthcare

1. Legislate and fund a minimum annual wage increase for healthcare workers. This wage increase would be no less than the annual minimum wage increase, as calculated in the Employment Standards Act, Part IX, Section 23.1 (4) (5).

2. Set a fair and equitable wage for PSWs and RPNs in the homecare sector that is at par with long term care workers of the same classifications.

3. Implement the permanent wage enhancement for all non-registered, non-PSW employees in long term care facilities.

4. Extend the definition of “hospital” in the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act to include the homecare sector.

5. Set a minimum standard required in homecare contracts for employee time during all work hours. This minimum standard includes the CRA mileage rate of $0.70/km and minimum wage for travel time between homecare clients.

6. Require that the daily hours of direct care by RNs, RPNs, PSWs, and allied healthcare professionals, be publicly reported on each long term care facility.

7. Require mandatory WSIB coverage for workers in retirement homes and residential care facilities.

 8. Restore the WSIB’s loss of earnings (LOE) coverage for injured or ill workers to 90 percent LOE from the current level of 85 percent LOE.

Construction

9. Amend the Labour Relations Act, Section 127, to permit a public entity, as listed in section 127(1) of the Act, to opt out of being a construction employer, at any time, provided they issue three months written notice. In doing so, they should be able to avail themselves of the same transition privileges set out in subsections 127 2) and three months after having issued such notice.

10. Develop a policy directive or other mechanism that obligates Infrastructure Ontario (IO) to ensure that IO-managed/tendered projects are fairly and openly tendered, without arbitrary restrictions to building trade or craft unions.

11. Continue the Skills Development Fund program.

Volunteer Firefighting 

12. Introduce and implement a volunteer firefighter tax credit that matches the existing federal tax credit of $3,000 and commit to matching any future federal volunteer firefighter tax credits.

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