The government of Ontario has introduced legislation that would ensure that construction workers, hired under government contracts will be paid the fair, prevailing wage.
The proposed Government Contract Wages Act, 2018, was introduced at Queen’s Park on April 17. If passed, the legislation would allow Ontario to establish minimum rates of pay for construction workers, that would dictate what wages contractors and subcontractors must pay to land Ontario contracts.
The legislation also applies to cleaning and security contracts within the province.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the proposed legislation at the United Association of Plumbers and Steamfitters, Local 46, in Toronto.
“Every worker deserves to be paid a fair wage. And every business bidding for a government contract deserves a fair shot. We’re taking action so that employers won’t be able to win a competition by unfairly lowering workers’ wages,” Wynne said.
“It’s just one of the ways we are standing up for workers in a rapidly changing economy. We know that a $15 minimum wage, compensation ranges on job postings and equal pay for equal work is the right thing to do for everyone in Ontario. All workers deserve to be compensated and treated well.”
The refreshed wage policy would apply to contracts with all government ministries, and with specified government agencies and Crown corporations. It would cover building security and cleaning services in government owned and occupied buildings, and four construction sectors: roads; heavy engineering; sewers and water mains; and industrial, commercial and institutional.
“Everyone in Ontario should be paid fairly for the work that they do. By updating the Fair Wage Policy, we will be ensuring that the Ontario Government is doing its part as an employer,” said Kevin Flynn, Ontario’s minister of labour.
“We are committed to building a fair and safe workplace for all Ontario workers and employers, and the Fair Wage Policy is a key part of that plan.”
Although the next provincial election takes place June 7, Wynne has said she is optimistic the bill will become law before Ontarians head to the polls.