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AMAPCEO joins call for paid sick days, long-term care reform

Publish date: Wednesday, January 27, 2021 update

President Dave Bulmer at round table with union leaders

The union representing more than 14,000 of the province’s professional employees is joining the chorus of voices calling on the government to ensure every working Ontarian has access to paid sick days.

AMAPCEO President Dave Bulmer spoke with MPPs Michael Parsa, Parliamentary Assistant to the President of the Treasury Board and Jane McKenna, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour at a roundtable with labour leaders on Friday.

“More than 60 per cent of Ontario’s workers don’t have access to paid sick leave,” Bulmer said. “Jurisdictions around the world have long recognized how essential it is, both morally and economically—even more so during a public health crisis.”

“Paid sick leave is a critical tool towards stamping out this virus,” Bulmer said.

Bulmer was invited to the roundtable by Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board. He joined labour leaders Smokey Thomas (OPSEU), Fred Hahn (CUPE Ontario), and Tim Deelstra (UFCW Canada) and others for a wide-ranging discussion on priorities for the upcoming provincial budget.

The labour leaders spoke strongly against the OPS Employer’s current practice of contracting out—ultimately, spending more for less—and in favour of reinvesting in the public services that Ontarians will need to recover from the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also brainstormed opportunities for skills development and job creation—two areas of focus for this government.

“The next budget should focus on getting us through the rest of this crisis and then rebuilding an even stronger province,” Bulmer said. “The government can help get Ontarians back to work and grow our economy by advancing vaccine research and by manufacturing personal protective equipment right here at home.”

Also top of mind were the many problems with Ontario’s current approach to long-term care. The labour leaders advocated for systematic reform, including a push towards a non-profit system in which care providers are employed full-time, paid fairly, and guaranteed adequate protections to keep them—and their residents—safe. With Bulmer stating, “We, as a province, have contracted out the profit healthcare of our seniors for too long – and the results of a for profit system are evident – and they are appalling.”

The next provincial budget is expected before March 31.

AMAPCEO will also be providing the government with a written submission of further ideas for the budget.

More about AMAPCEO and our Members: Established in 1992, AMAPCEO is a bargaining agent that represents 14,000 professional and supervisory public servants, most of whom work directly for the Government of Ontario in every ministry and in a number of agencies, boards and commissions; in 130 communities throughout Ontario and in 12 cities outside Canada. We also represent employees outside the Ontario Public Service in: the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario; Health Quality Ontario; the Ontario Arts Council; Public Health Ontario; the Waypoint Mental Health Centre in Penetanguishene; and in the former Offices of the Ontario Child Advocate and the French Language Services Commissioner (now part of the Ontario Ombudsman).