Healthcare Labour Media release

Media release: Demanding 10 on the 10th: Multiple simultaneous protests call for 10 permanent paid sick days

WHAT: Simultaneous Actions for 10 Permanent Paid Sick Days

WHERE: Halifax (multiple sites), Dartmouth, Beechville, Musquodoboit Harbour, Amherst, New Glasgow, and Sydney, NS

WHEN: Thursday, June 10, 6pm

WHO: Fight for $15 & Fairness members and supporters throughout the province

In a creative response to COVID-19 restrictions, multiple simultaneous micro-protests are happening across Nova Scotia to push the province for 10 permanent and employer-paid sick days. 

Low wage, frontline workers have carried us through this pandemic – making the most sacrifices and taking the most risk. But these workers are barely scraping by, and many cannot afford to miss work, even when they feel sick. The provincial government’s solution – four temporary sick days paid by the province – is a short-term measure for a long term problem. If living with COVID is to be our reality going forward, then 10 paid sick days must be a permanent fixture to protect workers and their families.

BACKGROUND

The evidence shows paid sick days are effective at curbing transmission of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

  • The number of days (4) is insufficient, a minimum of ten paid sick days is required to compensate workers for an entire fourteen-day self-isolation period;
  • The maximum reimbursement per worker is $640 over a 12-week period, which is inadequate to compensate for workers who miss a significant amount of time due to COVID-19;
  • The program’s eligibility criteria are very narrow: it is only open to people who can’t work remotely and who miss less than 50 per cent of their scheduled work time in a one-week period due to COVID-19;
  • The program should be permanent, currently it is only available between May 10 and July 31 2021;
  • No one should have to choose between staying home sick & paying the bills;
  • Black, Indigenous, and workers of colour are over-represented in low-wage, frontline work & are most at risk of becoming infected
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