John Smee February’20

SSW MPP Doly Begum Along With Andrea Horwath Call for Paid Sick Days.

By John Smee

The reality for many frontline healthcare workers is the choice between “protecting my income to maintain my home and family or do I choose to protect people by not going into work sick?” said NDP leader Andrea Horwath at a virtual press conference on Tuesday Jan. 19th. Without paid sick days frontline workers are being forced to make that choice.

She went on to say “It shouldn’t be about saving a buck, it should be about saving lives, protecting people, protecting businesses,”.

Yasmine, who works part time in a GTA Hospital as a speech language pathologist appeared with Horwath and Scarborough Southwest MPP Doly Begum. She does not qualify for sick pay.

“I work in close proximity to patients with COVID-19,” she’s quoted as saying. “I’ve had to take time off to get tested because of mild symptoms.”

Begum Says “It is heartbreaking to see people from my community constantly put themselves at risk so that our province can keep running. Folks are having to ride in crowded buses to go work in long-term care, factories, big-box grocery stores and barely making ends meet while not being able to stay home when they’re sick.

Ontario had two paid sick days prior to 2018. The current provincial government took them both when they were elected.

And while the federal government
has a paid sick leave program that covers workers for $500.00 per week for up to two weeks. Workers still have to apply and it can take weeks to get a cheque. That’s just too long for those living paycheque to paycheque.

Horwath and Begum are calling on the provincial government to implement paid sick days for all Ontario workers especially those working part time jobs in healthcare

London West NDP MPP Peggy Sattler introduced a bill back in September called the Stay Home If You’re Sick Act. It guarantees paid sick days to all

And now Horwath is calling on Doug Ford to recall the legislature to pass the bill.