Student parks workers, members of OPSEU Local 310 and 313 respectively, leafleted cars going into Sibbald Point and Six Mile Lake Provincial Parks on Saturday, July 11. Students are protesting the decision by the Ontario government to not pay them vacation and holiday pay this summer.
About half the students earn minimum wage, $9.50 an hour. In past years, 8.16 per cent of gross pay was added to the summer students’ hourly wage to compensate them for not getting a paid vacation and for having to work statutory holidays. The government notified the union that the employer had erroneously made these payments in past years and would no longer do so because the Crown, (the government), is exempted from its own legislation, the Employment Standards Act.
“The Ontario government should be a model employer, especially for students who are the future of the province,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
“Instead, they exempted themselves from labour standards that they enforce with respect to all other employers in the province. The McGuinty government must do the right thing: change the law so they abide by the same rules as everyone else and, in the meantime, pay the students their vacation and holiday pay.”