The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) congratulates the Ontario New Democratic Party on its recent announcement to create the province’s first universal Pharma Care program if elected in 2018. According to the plan, all Ontarians, including the 2.2 million people that are currently without prescription drug coverage in the province, are expected to have prescription drug coverage by 2020.
“Progress requires bold vision,” said OFL President Chris Buckley. “If we truly want to create an Ontario that is decent, fair, and equitable, then we must ensure that everyone has access to essential medications – regardless of where they work and how much they earn. With the decline in full-time and permanent work, and the corresponding increase in insecure work, fewer Ontarians have access to workplace benefits, including prescription drug coverage.”
According to the Wellesley Institute, 27 per cent of part-time workers in Canada had employer provided medical benefits relative to 73 per cent of full-time workers. One in three workers in Ontario do not receive employer-provided medical or dental benefits, and workers with low earnings are far less likely to receive benefits than those with higher earnings.
“More than 80 per cent of insecure jobs in Ontario do not receive any benefits including vision, dental, and prescription drug coverage. Workers and families are forced to delay – or bypass – essential health and dental care. This is simply unacceptable. The reality of Ontario’s working class requires immediate action,” said Buckley.
The OFL called for an expansion of universal social programs and public services, including child care, housing, pharma care, post-secondary education, social and community services, and public pensions, as recently as its 2017 pre-budget submission.
The OFL’s www.MakeItFair.ca campaign takes on issues of inequality in the workforce, and coincides with the province’s “Changing Workplaces Review.” The campaign gives voice to unions’ demands for across-the-board changes to the Employment Standards Act and the Labour Relations Act that would improve standards for every worker and make it easier for them to join a union.
The OFL represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow @OFLabour on Facebook and Twitter
For more information contact:
OFL Acting Director of Government Relations and Liaison to the President
416-707-9014 (cell) or email@example.com