To President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton,
As the York Cross-Campus Alliance (CCA), which represents students and unionized staff and faculty at the university, we openly voice our opposition to the provincial government’s enactment of Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act, 2018.
We call upon you to protect workers at York University from this regressive legislation. This legislation strips workers of their rights and contradicts Doug Ford’s campaign promise to be “for the people.” Bill 47 cancels the fair and just increase of the minimum wage to $15. It also removes workers’ two paid personal emergency leave days, equal-pay measures, and other improvements to working conditions.
Unfortunately, Bill 47 adds to the growing regressive legacy of the Conservative government, and we, the CCA, condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
Although the provincial government has demonstrated that they do not care about the interests of working people, York University now has an opportunity to go another route and distinguish itself as an example of an employer that respects and values its employees, as well as an employer that cares about and shows compassion towards its employees.
Therefore, we are calling upon York University to enact policy that will uphold the changes enacted under Bill 148, the provisions of which the university has already been successfully following for almost a year.
Specifically, we are asking the university to:
- Continue to provide staff with two paid Personal Emergency Leave days per year
- Commit to pay all staff at the university a minimum of $15 per hour (as the University of Toronto has been doing for over a year)
- Commit to equal pay for equal work
- Continue to uphold all other entitlements in Bill 148
Anti-worker legislation such as Bill 47 should not be seen as an opportunity for York University to pay any worker less than $15 an hour, to strip workers of paid sick days, or to require unnecessary medical notes. A recent Campaign Research survey found that 77 per cent of respondents opposed Doug Ford’s decision to scrap two paid sick days. Sick days help improve the mental and physical well-being of employees, as well as students and the broader community. In addition, forcing workers with minor illnesses into doctor’s offices and emergency rooms to obtain sick notes is not only unnecessary, but a drain on our public healthcare system.
We invite you to join us in the fight for justice, fairness, and research-based evidence that promotes our health and well-being, as well as our ability to earn a decent wage.
The York Cross-Campus Alliance represents tens of thousands of students, staff, and faculty at York University. The Cross-Campus Alliance includes: