Watch Unifor’s presentation to Ontario’s Treasury Board, Budget 2021

Naureen Rizvi in a Zoom meeting frame, wearing a black shirt.

What would you do when the Ontario government only gives you 3 minutes to tell them what needs to be in the 2021 budget?

You make it work, because Ontario’s workers need a lot to change! Naureen Rizvi runs down the top union priorities in this presentation to the Treasury Board.

“In 2018, one of this government’s first moves was to eliminate recently and hard fought for paid sick days and planned minimum wage increases,” began Rizvi. “The pandemic has shown that both of those policy moves were a mistake.”

In its 2021 budget submission, Unifor highlighted the critical need for policy changes and investment in the province.

Workers have spent years campaigning for a dramatic overhaul of Ontario’s for-profit long-term care sector. Unifor demanded that the government abandon the 4-year phase in and immediately fund 4 hours of direct care per day, and fast-track PSW training to improve staffing levels.

Outside of the LTC sector, workers are still left without support and protection. Unifor proposed that the government ensure all workers are paid for the value that they bring to society.

  • Revoke Bill 124, that caps the wages of low-paid public servants and stomps on their rights to collective bargaining
  • Extend the COVID-19 wage top ups, and make them permanent
  • Re-introduce a higher minimum wage, at 60% of median full time wages (2020 would have been $15.86 by this standard)

To invest in Ontario’s infrastructure, for years to come, Unifor asked the province once again, to come forward with the one-thirds funding for new TTC streetcars, built here in Thunder Bay.

Rizvi closed with a brief call to action for MPPs, “The people of this province have shown undeniable resilience in the face of a cruel year. Your actions in this budget will determine if those workers and their families get relief and a better tomorrow.”

Read more about Unifor’s plans for the Ontario Budget in the union’s 2021 Budget Submission.