Bill 124 appeal ruling a win for workers, Ontarians

Unifor members and allies from the Health Care sector holding flags and posters in support of fair wages.


TORONTO — Unifor commends the Ontario Court of Appeal’s decision today, upholding the Ontario Superior Court’s ruling that Bill 124 is unconstitutional.

“This decision is vindication for the tens of thousands of workers, many of them working in health care and education, who were denied their constitutional right to fair and free collective bargaining. It also sends a strong and clear message to governments across this country considering using legislative powers to deny workers’ rights,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne.

“The Charter rights of workers, specifically, the right to freedom of association and all that this entails, are not something governments can ignore or deny anytime they feel like it. Unifor will always vigorously defend those rights,” said Payne.

Following the Ontario Superior Court’s ruling that Bill 124 was unconstitutional, Unifor has been pivotal in winning retroactive pay for workers impacted by the Ontario government-imposed wage caps. Unifor, along with other unions, had negotiated special “re-opener” language into collective agreements should the bill be struck down so wages could be renegotiated. This has resulted in wage increases for workers across the health and education sector.

“Lifting wages and protecting fundamental workplace rights has never been more crucial as workers struggle with affordability and a health care system that can’t meet patients’ needs,” says Samia Hashi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director.

“Strong collective bargaining helps workers not just improve their working conditions, but the quality of public services. Unifor will continue to fight for quality public services that Ontarians deserve.”

Bill 124 impacts more than 18,155 Unifor members in hospitals, non-profit long-term care homes, paramedic services, social services, and in education.

More than 70% of Unifor’s members impacted by Bill 124 are women doing undervalued, traditionally female-dominated care work.