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Changing Workplaces Review - government must act on recommendations and omissions

May 24, 2017

Toronto, ON – While Ontario’s Changing Workplaces Review proposes improvements to workers’ rights, the review fails to address fundamental reforms sought by organized labour, according to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

“It is vital that the government do two things: 1) act on the 173 recommendations that are tabled in the report, and 2) actively address the omissions identified by labour,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Otherwise the province will fail to move forward and make changes to labour law to ensure that workplaces provide fairness for all workers.” 
 
“The recommendations include a number of important improvements in terms of extending employment standards to more workers, improving workplace protections and investing in more rigorous enforcement of labour laws. There is a definite push to create a culture of compliance by employers and to educate both workers and employers on rights and obligations.”

However, ETFO joins with the Ontario Federation of Labour in expressing disappointment at key omissions in the review.

“The recommendations miss the mark with respect to addressing safer working conditions, decent work hours, paid sick leave days and vacation for all workers,” added Hammond. “They fail to reintroduce card-based certification or propose provisions that would make it easier for workers to organize as a union. The report also fails to propose banning replacement workers during a strike and providing automatic access to first contract arbitration.”

ETFO is committed to building better schools. Its Building Better Schools education agenda can be viewed at buildingbetterschools.ca. The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 78,000 elementary public school teachers, occasional teachers and education professionals across the province.