Members of the Ontario Universities and Colleges Coalition (OUCC), of which OCUFA is a member, have put out a statement supporting the Decent Work and Health Network’s call for seven permanent, paid sick days for all workers and an additional fourteen paid sick days during public health outbreaks.
The postsecondary education sector, like other parts of the economy and community, also needs paid sick days for all its employees. Many members of our campus communities, including casual and precarious workers—some of whom are maintaining the health and safety of campuses, do not have access to paid sick days and are at risk of contracting COVID-19. Community spread also impacts many students who are working low-wage jobs without paid sick leave. At many of Ontario’s colleges and universities, vocational and lab-based classes are continuing, even during the pandemic, and the faculty and staff who teach and support them need paid sick leave to prevent the spread. The call for paid sick days is necessary for the safety of students, workers, parents, and the broader community.