Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

August 23, 2011 10:00 ET

"How Screwed Are You?" Campaign Puts Good Jobs, Post-Secondary Education on the Election Agenda

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 23, 2011) -

Editors Note: A photo for this release will be available via Marketwire on the picture wire of The Canadian Press.

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) today launched a provocative new campaign to call on all political parties to make the issue of jobs, and job quality, central to the upcoming Ontario provincial election campaign.

"Fundamentally, the 'How Screwed Are You?' campaign asks, 'What kind of Ontario do we want?'" said OPSEU Political Economist, Randy Robinson. "Will we accept an Ontario where more and more jobs are part-time, temporary jobs that don't allow people to live decently, raise their kids the way they want to, or retire with dignity? Or, are we ready to stand up for good, full-time, family-supporting jobs? Our campaign aims to put good jobs front and centre on the election agenda."

Right now, only five out of eight Ontario workers have permanent, full-time jobs. The remaining three out of eight are part-time, temporary jobs that typically offer lower pay, fewer benefits, and limited job security.

"The job market we're seeing now is the result of more than 30 years of policies that have boosted corporate profits but caused wages to stagnate and forced families work harder and longer every week just to stay where they are," Robinson said. "Corporate tax cuts in Ontario are simply the latest policy to accelerate this long-term trend."

The state of the job market is of special concern to young workers and their families, which is why the "How Screwed Are You?" campaign also shines a light on high tuition fees, student debt, and parents who are forced to postpone retirement to help their children.

"With the $2.4-billion a year we're spending on corporate income tax cuts we could reduce tuition fees by 75 per cent for every college and university student in the province," Robinson said. "We do have options, and we're hoping our campaign will spur the political parties to put forward aggressive proposals to foster the growth not just of jobs, but of good jobs, for this generation and the next."

The campaign web site at www.howscrewedareyou.ca features an online calculator for students, parents, and part-time workers to figure out how "screwed" they are; several humourous videos; a fun interactive game in which players rescue money from corporate tax cuts and redistribute them to better uses; and a contest with three prizes of $2,400 each.

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