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Greater Toronto Area Council – Home of GTAC

Upcoming Events/Dates of Importance

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GTAC Workers’ Arts and Heritage Centre Trip

wahc
Saturday, July 9th
9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (approx.)

On Saturday, July 9th, the Greater Toronto Area Council has arranged a tour of the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton. The cost of the trip is $20 per person and includes admission to the centre, tour, lunch and transportation to the Centre. The maximum amount of attendees is limited to 40 people and is limited to OPSEU members and 1 guest. If you would like to RSVP to join us on this outing please sign up on our event page at:  https://www.facebook.com/events/482465465287825/  or by emailing us at:   gtac@opseugtac.com by July 4th. If you have any questions about the trip please email us at: gtac@opseugtac.com

The Workers Arts and Heritage was conceived in the late 1980’s by a dynamic group of labour historians, artists, and union and community activists who gathered together to discuss the need for a place where workers’ history could be celebrated. In 1996, after intense work by a volunteer board of directors, the (Ontario) Workers Arts and Heritage Centre purchased the historic Custom House on Stuart Street in the north end of Hamilton. The building is ideally situated in the heart of a working-class neighbourhood.

The Workers Arts and Heritage Centre aims to preserve, honour and promote the culture and history of all working people. But we also hope to learn from the past towards challenging the future – for future generations. The contributions of working people – not only in Canadian history but worldwide – are showcased in art, exhibits, and performances. Their labour and advocacy has made this country a fair and vibrant place to live and work, and we acknowledge these struggles. Without them, Canadians would not be living in a country ranked among the best in the world.

For more information about the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre please visit: http://wahc-museum.ca/

We will leave from OPSEU’s Toronto office at 9:00 AM sharp and leaving to return at approx. 3:30 PM. The cost will be collected at the bus prior to leaving.

Welcome to GTAC’s Webpage

Thank you for visiting the Greater Toronto Area Council’s (GTAC) website. GTAC’s mandate is found under OPSEU’s Constitution Section 22.2

Section 22.2 – The purpose of a Council shall be to coordinate Union activities on a regional basis in such matters as political action, community involvement, social issues, participation in or co-operation with labour councils, education, and public relations.

GTAC is committed to building a powerful OPSEU in a powerful union movement that:

– is based on shared values and strong member engagement,
– is democratic and effective, and
works to actively challenge inequality in the workplace and society.

Catching terrorists, tax cheats and money launderers would justify public corporate ownership registry

If we can make it harder for terrorists and organized crime to fund their activities, we reduce the risk to the public. Politicians who aren’t willing to support a public registry of the beneficial owners of companies are lying if they turn around and pretend to be tough on crime or terrorism.

See more at: NUPGE's website Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com

Promises made, promises broken in Conservatives’ fall economic update

“People earning minimum wage will get a tiny tax cut, but it will be peanuts compared to what they would have received if the government hadn’t canceled the $15 minimum wage. It’s disgusting that they’re trumpeting themselves as champions of ‘the little guy’ while stealing from their pockets.” — Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President Treasurer

See more at: NUPGE's website Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com

Actions by education workers at PC Convention will send message to Doug Ford: Keep decent work laws and $15 minimum wage

(TORONTO, ON) – An action will be held at the PC convention in protest of the Progressive Conservative Party’s continuing actions to reduce workers’ rights in Ontario.

Since taking office, Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative Party have made cuts to social assistance, cancelled important health curriculum, and are planning to take away basic workplace rights that workers won in the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act of 2017, including the upcoming increase to a $15 minimum wage, by passing Bill 47.

This action is being organized by the Durham teachers local of the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) in collaboration with the Ontario Federation of Labour and community groups across Ontario.

Educators and allies will be in solidarity to protect two paid sick days and a $15 minimum wage for students and parents across Ontario, rights that 77% of Ontarians support.

“As education professionals we see the harsh impact poverty has on children when families live paycheque to paycheque. ETFO adds its voice to the majority of what Ontarians already support and with the WE the People Action, we are sending a message to this government to withdraw Bill 47 and invest in public services,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “The attack on paid sick days and a $15 minimum wage is unjust, it’s unfair and quite honestly, it’s a petty way to punish workers for an illness or sick kids.”

“I teach in the Durham region. I see kids coming to class sick because their parents are precariously employed and they can’t stay home to get better. I see how families are struggling to make ends meet and it hurts the students and it hurts their ability to learn,” said Angie Inglis, elementary teacher in Whitby, Ontario. “The Ford government needs to withdraw Bill 47 for the sake of the people of Ontario.”

“The labour movement across Ontario is here for this action at the PC Convention to send the message the government of Ontario must ensure decent work laws and the January 1, 2019 increase to a $15 minimum wage,” said Ontario Federation of Labour Secretary-Treasurer Patty Coates. “We know that low wages and precarious work has a negative effect on students’ learning, hurts the health of Ontarians, and pushes people into poverty. This government must withdraw Bill 47.”

Action information:

Place: Congress Centre, 650 Dixon Road (Meet on the grass between Dixon Road and City View Lane)
Time: November 16, 2018 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Speakers to include:
Patty Coates – Secretary Treasurer, Ontario Federation of Labour
Natalie Mehra – Executive Director, Ontario Health Coalition
Navneet (Navi) Ajula – Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign, former temporary agency worker

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For further information, please contact:

Meagan Perry
Director of Communications,
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl.ca l 416-894-3456

The post Actions by education workers at PC Convention will send message to Doug Ford: Keep decent work laws and $15 minimum wage appeared first on The Ontario Federation of Labour.

See more at: OFL's website

Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com

Act now. Email 3 key Ministers to defend decent work laws and the $15 minimum wage

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The post Act now. Email 3 key Ministers to defend decent work laws and the $15 minimum wage appeared first on The Ontario Federation of Labour.

See more at: OFL's website

Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com

Fall economic statement shows that help isn’t on the way for Ontarians, says OFL

(TORONTO, ON) – From start to finish, the Fall Economic Statement is a disappointment for Ontarians and their families, says the Ontario Federation of Labour.

“After this economic statement, Ontarians are facing even harder times: poor funding for public services, a cancelled minimum wage increase, a tax cut that is unusable for many vulnerable workers, no meaningful plan for climate change, and a dismal lack of government oversight” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “Far from ‘restoring trust’ for Ontarians, removing oversight roles like the Ontario Child Advocate means a government already mired in scandals will be even less accountable to Ontarians.”

Two-thirds of minimum-wage earners won’t make enough to receive a tax cut. With a $15 minimum wage, they would receive almost $2,000 more annually.

“These policies will increase poverty for years to come in Ontario. Workers, who are already losing the January 1 increase to a $15 minimum wage, will also be disadvantaged when it is time for them to collect their pensions, because those payments are based on long-term income,” said Buckley. “They’re providing an income tax cut for the highest earners instead of providing real-dollar help to the people who need it most.”

The OFL has long fought to defend public services, which have been substantially slashed since this government took office.

“Ontarians are being left without help when they most need it – from the healthcare system to social assistance to hydro,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “Of all Canadian provinces, Ontario already has the lowest per-capita funding for programming. Further cuts will starve public programs and deprive Ontarians of the services they need. The government should be taxing corporations at a higher rate to properly fund those services.”

Buckley also voiced concerns about the government’s statement that it would require government approval of bargaining mandates for public agencies and ratification of collective agreements during the bargaining process.

“Micromanaging agencies by interfering in the bargaining process will delay the ability of workers to reach a collective agreement and impede their right to bargain,” said Buckley. “This will hurt services Ontarians depend on.”
Buckley added that the Fall Economic Statement “does not reflect the important concerns of workers across the province, as they see their government on the cusp of cancelling many of the workplace rights that were protected under the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. It’s also important that injured workers be the government’s highest priority while conducting its review of the WSIB.”

“This government promised Ontarians that help was on the way, and instead it has hurt millions of Ontarians by engineering heartless cuts to social assistance, workplace rights, and plans for a $15 minimum wage in 2019,” said Buckley. “This government must start governing in a way that will continue the economic growth and positive changes to workplace laws that have been in place since November of last year.”

The OFL deputation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs was also held today. At that committee hearing, OFL President Chris Buckley called on the government to withdraw Bill 47 in order to keep decent work laws, including two paid sick days, equal pay for part and full-time workers, laws that make it easier to join a union and the January 1 increase to a $15 minimum wage.

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.  For information visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

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For further information, please contact:

Meagan Perry
Director of Communications,
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl.ca l 416-894-3456

The post Fall economic statement shows that help isn’t on the way for Ontarians, says OFL appeared first on The Ontario Federation of Labour.

See more at: OFL's website

Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com

Democrats raise same concerns about USMCA as Canadian labour

“The USMCA won’t fix the long-term problems with NAFTA that have caused so much grief. We’ll still lose factories to right-to-work states, and we’ll still face wage stagnation caused by direct competition with countries that have lower wages, both the US and Mexico.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

See more at: NUPGE's website Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com

Advocates call Ford government’s 5-hour labour law consultation “a sham”; Communities host “Peoples’ Hearings” on Bill 47  

TORONTO, Nov. 14, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Community and labour groups will hold “Peoples’ Hearings” on November 15 across Ontario, in protest of Ford government’s decision to limit Thursday’s Bill 47 hearing by the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs to a mere five hours.

“The people of Ontario, the same people Premier Ford had promised to govern for, are being shut out of the hearings on Bill 47,” said Jessa McLean, organizer of the York Region $15 & Fairness Town Hall. “We’ve decided to hold our own hearing here in Newmarket, because we believe the voices of the people most impacted by this dangerous legislation need to be heard.”

There is little opportunity for public input on Bill 47. This is in stark contrast to the 14 days of province-wide committee hearings the previous government held to discuss Bill 148, as well as the two-year long Changing Workplaces Review that preceded it. That review had involved 12 public consultations, 200 oral presentations, and nearly 600 written submissions. This rigorous process laid the foundation for the employment and labour law reforms that Ontarians currently benefit from. These are the very laws the Ford government seeks to undo with Bill 47.

“Cancelling decent work laws and a $15 minimum wage for Ontarians is wrong. This government must do the right thing: stand up for workers and withdraw Bill 47,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “Right now, workers are only 7 weeks away from getting the increase to $15, yet Ford’s government wants to delay it by 7 years. This real dollar cut in the minimum wage is a callous act that will push people further into poverty. When workers have money in their pocket, they spend it, building local economies. It is no surprise that Ontario hit its lowest unemployment numbers in a decade, after $14 came in.”

In addition to imposing a real dollar wage cut for Ontario’s lowest paid workers by delaying $15 to at least 2025, Bill 47 would also eliminate the two paid sick days, reduce the number of unpaid personal emergency leave days, lower fines for employers who break the law, scrap equal pay rules and make it easier for employers to fire workers who decline last minute shifts, and do away with measures that made it easier to join and keep a union.

“It’s the beginning of the holiday season. What the lowest-wage earners in Ontario need is a $15 minimum wage on January 1, as scheduled, not an income tax cut that will do nothing for two-thirds of those earning the minimum wage,” said Pam Frache, Coordinator of Fight for $15 & Fairness Campaign.

Brantford, Newmarket, Ottawa, Scarborough, St. Thomas and Toronto are some of the locations where local community and labour groups will be speaking out. See event details below.

BRANTFORD, Morning transit outreach
Thursday, 8:30AM – 9:30AM, Brantford Transit Terminal, 64 Darling St
Click here to see additional event details

BRANTFORD, Afternoon canvass& Speak-out
Thursday, 12:00PM – 2:00PM, RCW Lobby, 154 Dalhousie St
Click here to see additional event details

NEWMARKET, York Region Peoples’ Hearing Town Hall
Thursday, 4:00PM – 7:00PM – CUPE 905 Hall, 165 Pony Dr
Click here to see additional event details

OTTAWA (Nepean), The Peoples’ Hearing on Bill 47: Speak out for fairness!
Thursday, 1:30PM – 3:30PM – 1580 Merivale Rd
Click here to see additional event details

SCARBOROUGH, Outreach & Speak-out
Thursday, 5:30PM – 7:00PM – Intersection of Markham & Ellesmere, 2100 Ellesmere Rd
Click here to see additional event details

ST. THOMAS, Outreach & Speak-out
Thursday, 3:30PM – 4:30 PM – 750 Talbot St
Click here to see additional event details

TORONTO, Bill 47 “Mock Committee” Peoples’ Hearing
Thursday, 12:30PM – 1:00PM – Queen’s Park front lawn
Click here to see additional event details

TORONTO, Flu Fighter Outreach led by health providers
Thursday, 12:00PM – 2:00PM – Corner of College St & University Ave
Click here to see additional event details

TORONTO, Outreach at York Lanes & Speak-out
Thursday, 12:30PM – 2:30PM – York Lanes Mall, 4700 Keele St
Click here to see additional event details

TORONTO, Downtown outreach & Speak-out
Thursday, 5:30PM – 7:00PM – Spadina and Bloor intersection
Click here to see additional event details

For more information:
Nil Sendil
Communications Coordinator, Fight for $15 and Fairness
info@15andfairness.org l 647-710-5795

The post Advocates call Ford government’s 5-hour labour law consultation “a sham”; Communities host “Peoples’ Hearings” on Bill 47   appeared first on The Ontario Federation of Labour.

See more at: OFL's website

Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com

Labour activists and community members to attend committee hearings on Bill 47 in defense of workers’ rights, says Ontario Federation of Labour

(TORONTO, ON) – Labour activists will fill the committee rooms at Queen’s Park tomorrow, as the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs hears deputations on Bill 47, a bill which will strip Ontario workers of basic workplace rights.

Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley will present to the committee at 9:00 a.m. on November 15.

“When our employment and labour laws were updated in 2017, that update was the result of more than two years of consultations,” said OFL President Chris Buckley. “This government is ramming through Bill 47, a Bill that will affect Ontario workers for years to come, without hearing from people across the province. In fact, 77 per cent of Ontarians agree that two paid sick days are needed for workers and the majority agree with an increase to a $15 minimum wage.”

The committee hearings are being held on the same day as the government delivers its fall economic update.

Bill 47 will be felt by most workers in Ontario who will be losing the upcoming increase to a $15 minimum wage, paid sick days, and equal pay for temporary, part-time, and full-time workers, and laws that make it easier to join and keep a union. Precarious and low-wage workers will be disproportionately affected.

“Bill 47 must be withdrawn. This government must do the right thing and stand up for workers,” said Ontario Federation of Labour President Chris Buckley. “Taking basic rights away from the most precarious and low-paid workers in Ontario is a dirty trick for this government to play. Removing the $15 minimum wage, taking away paid sick days, and removing equal pay for equal work provisions is a betrayal of workers in this province pure and simple,” he added.

Ontario’s economy is doing well, having added 83,000 jobs since this time last year, and an increase in full-time work across the province. Unemployment is at a record low.

“It’s very clear that decent work laws are not hurting the economy,” said Buckley. “Greater fairness in the workplace and a $15 minimum wage means that workers are better able to feed their families, have dollars to spend in the community which boosts the economy. Doug Ford said, ‘help is on the way’ for Ontarians, but what he is doing by cancelling a wage increase for low-income earners and cutting basic workplace rights isn’t helpful for workers, and it’s not helpful for the economy.”

The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.  For information visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter.

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For further information, please contact:

Meagan Perry
Director of Communications,
Ontario Federation of Labour
mperry@ofl.ca l 416-894-3456

The post Labour activists and community members to attend committee hearings on Bill 47 in defense of workers’ rights, says Ontario Federation of Labour appeared first on The Ontario Federation of Labour.

See more at: OFL's website

Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com

Get on the bus with Capers 4 Healthcare on Nov. 16!

The Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) encourages those concerned about the health care crisis to let the health minister know how you feel.

See more at: NUPGE's website Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com

Manitoba spends over $16M on private consultants

“These consultants are paid to do one job, and part of that job is toeing the government line.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President

See more at: NUPGE's website Visit our webpage at: http://opseugtac.com