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5 priorities for Kathleen Wynne’s good jobs agenda

The Worker’s Action Centre has released a list of 5 priorities for a good jobs agenda. Premier Wynne, are you listening?

good jobs agenda3

As incoming premier Kathleen Wynne takes office, here are 5 priorities for action on good jobs:

  1. Increase the minimum wage
  2. Target employers that violate employment standards
  3. Ensure adequate resources for proactive enforcement of employment standards
  4. Update the ESA to create good jobs
  5. Equal protections for temporary foreign workers.

Read more.

Toronto saves $800,000 from contracting-out building cleaning — far less than promised

Toronto saves $800,000 from contracting-out building cleaning — far less than promised

Paul Moloney – Toronto Star

The amount Toronto taxpayers will save by contracting-out cleaning at police facilities will be less than a third of the original estimates.

Instead of saving $2.5 million a year, budget papers indicate the annual savings will be only about $800,000.

The city has pondered putting cleaning services out for contract for years, but council didn’t go along with the idea until last year, after Mayor Rob Ford was elected and his brother, Councillor Doug Ford, vowed to outsource anything that wasn’t nailed down.

Under the Ford administration, garbage pick-up west of Yonge St. and TTC bus cleaning have also been outsourced.

The savings on the police contract fall “wildly short of the $2.5 million that was predicted,” said Councillor Pam McConnell, who opposed extending the contract.

The $2.5-million figure was extrapolated from a private-sector quote in 2003 to clean four police buildings: police headquarters and three stations.

If applied to all police buildings, the savings would come to $2.5 million annually, then-chief Julian Fantino said in a report to city council.

Fantino said the police service had no problem with contract cleaning and was ready to proceed. But the issue languished until after Ford’s election in October 2010.

Full article: Toronto Star


OFL Rejects Mowat Centre Pay Day Loan Scheme for unemployed workers

The Ontario Federation of Labour has released an assessment of the EI Report from the Mowat Task Force. Click here to download the full assessment.

(TORONTO) — Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan has rejected the latest report from the Mowat Centre Employment Insurance (EI) Task Force. “I was dumb-founded to see that the report has focused on little more than a Pay Day Loan scheme for unemployed workers in precarious and non-standard work, instead of modernizing EI to meet their needs,” said Sid Ryan.

Ryan was referring to a key Task Force recommendation that proposes a new temporary unemployment assistance (TUA) program funded by a “jobseeker’s loan” with repayment contingent upon future income. According to the report, workers “could rely on TUA until other work is secured or use TUA to smooth income over periods of lower earnings.

Read more of the OFL news release here.

Talking about jobs

Check out the newly launched Talking about Jobs website. Join in on the discussion!

Over the last six months the Wellesley Institute, Atkinson Foundation and Metcalf Foundation brought together thoughtful leaders, practitioners and scholars to envision, in a pragmatic and practical way, 21st century labour market policies for Ontario. What grew from these discussions were a clear set of labour market policy proposals focused on workforce development and labour market regulation. These ideas are aimed at reducing labour market poverty. They will contribute to a healthier and more equitable Ontario.

We are putting forward six good ideas that should be on the agenda as Ontarians head to the polls this fall. They include: local job matchmaking, a new and improved Employment Standards Act, partnerships for workplace-based learning, the right job for internationally trained professionals, the right to choose a union, and better protection for migrant workers.

We will be discussing these ideas on the website and in communities.

May 17-18: City Council votes on privatization proposal

On May 17-18, City Council will vote on Mayor Ford’s garbage privatization proposal. The plan is to privatize residential collection of recycling, organics, and garbage west of Yonge Street, litter collection in all parks, street cleaning, and other collection across the city on an “adhoc basis.” At the April 26th Public Works & Infrastructure Committee, over 70 public deputants spoke against the proposal to privatize garbage as well as circumvent democratic process.

This attempt to contract out waste collection when the public and the Councillors have not had a chance to review it sets a dangerous precedent. The savings that are claimed in the staff report will be realized primarily due to lower wages and benefits paid to front line workers employed by private, for‐profit contractors. Waste collection is a tough and risky job. Good Jobs for All rejects a business plan that is based on de‐valuing work while paving the way for future contracting out of public services to private companies. Call now to speak to your councillor to find out how they are going to vote.

Come to City Hall on May 17-18 to attend the meeting. The agenda still has not been made public for the meeting, but it will start at 9:30 am and will go into the evening . Contact psivakumar [@] labourcouncil [dot] ca if you plan to attend so that we can keep you posted as details emerge.

Yesterday, the City announced the process for three major “reviews” are taking place over the next few months for public consultation. With an anticipated shortfall of almost $775 million in the 2012 City Budget, we will have to mobilize now to push back against cuts to important public services that Toronto residents across communities need.

RESPECT – Our Communities, Public Services, and Good Jobs! Rally on Saturday April 9

The Good Jobs for All coalition has endorsed the Community Day of Action on Saturday April 9, 2011. Follow Respect Toronto on Facebook.

1 p.m. Saturday, April 9, 2011
Rally at Dundas Square, followed by a march to Toronto City Hall

What’s at Stake?
• Services and programs that serve every resident and community, such as libraries, child care and recreation centres
• TTC serving all neighbourhoods
• Environmental leadership in challenging climate change
• Keeping public control of public services, such as garbage pickup
• Safeguarding vital public assets, such as housing
• Good jobs and the fundamental rights of workers

January 19 and 20th: Come out to the 2011 City Budget Hearings

Mayor Rob Ford’s budget is out and public hearings are set up for next week.  The proposed budget drains City funds and assets this year to enable Ford to freeze taxes this year. There are cuts to programs to vulnerable groups, such as tenants, TTC riders and recreation users in poor communities. Click here to read what the Toronto Star wrote about the cuts in the current budget. Check to see if you are affected by these cuts, and register to make a deputation!

To register to make a deputation notify the City Clerk, Budget Committee, by calling 416-392-1032 or 416-397-7768 or e-mailing no later than 12 p.m. on January 18, 2011, indicating your preferred date and location. There will be a 5 minute time limit for each presentation. 

This budget is about battling visions – Ford’s Toronto is one where services are cut or contracted out. Our vision is about investing in our City and our communities especially at a time when unemployment and poverty pervade our city. We would like you to come to the budget hearings as a resident and share our vision for Toronto.

Whether you decide to speak or not, please come out. IMPORTANT NOTE: The consultation at City Hall is sponsored by councillors not by Mayor Ford, so if you want to make sure that Mayor Ford hears you, come to the hearings listed below.

There are 4 hearings:

                Wednesday January 19, 2011 – 2 locations

6:00 pm                                                                                                6:00 pm

East York Civic Centre                                                                     North York Civic Centre

Council Chambers                                                                            Council Chambers

850 Coxwell Ave                                                                               5100 Yonge St.

                Thursday January 20, 2011 – 2 locations


6:00 pm                                                                                                6:00 pm

Scarborough Civic Centre                                                             York Civic Centre

Council Chambers                                                                            Council Chambers

150 Borough Dr.                                                                                2700 Eglinton Ave. W.

For Further Information: David Kidd – Labour Council – (416) 441-3663 ext.

To register for the hearings:        Phone (416) 392-1032 or (416) 397-7768 or email:

The Coalition Responds to McGuinty’s Energy Plan

Go Green the Right Way

This week, Energy Minister Brad Duguid, said consumer energy bills will rise by 3.5% a year, as part of the government’s 20 year energy plan.  Only part of this increase is due to the McGuinty government’s commendable commitment to up the amount of electricity generated from green sources, like wind and solar, from 3 to 15% by 2030.

Continue reading The Coalition Responds to McGuinty’s Energy Plan