PRESS RELEASE: Bill 148 to Make a Real Difference for Millions of Workers Across Ontario

November 22, 2017

Richmond Hill, Ontario (November 22, 2017) – SEIU Healthcare is celebrating the passing of Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (2017), which we believe represents real progress in Ontario.

“What started as a review of our outdated employment and labour laws has resulted in a once-in-a-generation reform that will lift up and protect hard-working people,” said SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart. “The passing of Bill 148 will make a real difference for millions of workers across the province.”

Some of the highlights of Bill 148 include:

Increase to minimum wage: The minimum wage in Ontario will raise from its current $11.60 an hour to $14 an hour on January 1, 2018 and $15 an hour on January 1, 2019. This will give all working Ontarians the opportunity to earn a much-deserved living wage.

Paid leave for those experiencing domestic violence: An employee will be eligible to take five days of paid leave, plus up to 16 additional weeks of unpaid leave, if they or their child have experienced or are facing the threat of domestic or sexual violence. This will give these individuals and families the time necessary to seek support.

Equal pay for equal work: No employee will be paid less than what is paid to a full-time employee of the same employer who performs the same job. This will help bring fairness to the workplace and will decrease the benefit of an employer hiring employees on a part time, casual, temporary and seasonal basis.

More access to unionization: Bill 148 will make it more difficult for employers to put up obstacles when their employees wish to unionize. Unions will also have access to employee lists sooner. These changes will make it easier for Ontarians to come together to join a union, which is their right.

The passing of Bill 148 addresses many of the concerns that our members have been speaking out against for years,” said Stewart. “Someone working full-time hours deserves to earn a living wage. People who experience domestic or sexual violence deserve the time necessary to seek support. Workers who come together to join a union deserve to do so without their employers putting up obstacles. Today’s passing of Bill 148 is a great first step to restoring worker justice in Ontario.


SEIU Healthcare represents more than 60,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario. The union's members work in hospitals, homecare, nursing and retirement homes, and community services throughout the province. SEIU Healthcare has a strong track record of improving wages, benefits and working conditions for healthcare workers, supporting the training and development needs of its members, and strengthening standards in the management and delivery of patient and client care.

For media inquiries, contact:
Grace Ghunaim
SEIU Healthcare

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