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Friday, February 26 2021

Dear colleagues,

We trust you are hearing the demands for legislated paid sick days all across Ontario. 

The Stay Home If You Are Sick Act (Bill 239) was debated yesterday – Thursday, February 25. On Monday, March 1, Members of Provincial Parliament will vote on this bill to amend the Employment Standards Act to ensure that employers provide workers with sick days. 

We encourage you to engage with the debate in your role as academics, workers, and students in a province where more than 60% of all workers (which include workers on our campus) must decide if they can give up their wages to self-isolate when they are unwell or contagious. 

As members of a large community that will soon be returning to a densely-populated campus, we know that community health depends on a person’s flexibility to stay home when they are sick. The Ryerson community includes workers who provide our food, coffee, security, and other services, contract support staff, contract teaching faculty and Teaching Assistants/Graduate Assistants, undergraduate and graduate students, colleagues and anyone who may come into contact with COVID-19 or other infectious diseases. 

Even in the midst of a pandemic, it is not possible to negotiate paid sick days into Collective Agreements because Bill 124 dictates a maximum 1% increase. It is important to locate “paid sick days” in the provincial legislation and especially during 2021 when all three of CUPE 3904 bargaining units are at the bargaining table. 

We support Paid Sick Days for our members and all workers across the province.

Sincerely,

Continuing Education Students Association of Ryerson (CESAR) representing part-time and continuing education students

Local 233 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 233) representing custodians, groundskeepers, and maintenance workers employed by Ryerson University since 1964

Local 3904 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 3904) representing approximately 3,000 full-time and part-time academic employees at Ryerson University. Our members include Contract Lecturers, Continuing Education Contract Lecturers, and Academic Assistants (Teaching and Graduate Assistants, Lab Monitors, and Invigilators)

Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) representing tenure-track faculty, limited term faculty, librarians, and counsellors at Ryerson University

Ryerson Graduate Students’ Union (RGSU) representing all part-time and full-time graduate students starting September 2021.