Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

June 05, 2009 12:41 ET

OPSEU: Ontario Government Summer Students Treated Worse Than Any Other Employee

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 5, 2009) - Minimum-wage summer students working for the Ontario government receive fewer benefits than any other minimum-wage worker in the province, a practice that must stop says the Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is demanding that the McGuinty government take immediate steps to close the loophole that allows the province to sidestep "pay in lieu" for holidays and vacations, payments that non-government employers are responsible for.

"Thanks to a provision in the Employment Standards Act that exempts the government, summer students working for the province receive fewer benefits than someone working for minimum wage in the retail industry," Thomas said. "This government is very vocal about increasing minimum standards for workers, as long as it doesn't apply to them."

Under the Employment Standards Act, the Crown (The Government of Ontario) is exempted from the sections of the Act that require employers to pay for holidays and vacation.

"This is the same employer that was bragging less than a year ago that they were named one of the Top 100 employers in Canada," Thomas said. "Our students are the future of this province. You would think this government would want to be a better employer than some U.S.-based retail giant."

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Communications
    Don Ford