President’s Message

A Message from President Sandra Walker IMG_1782 (2)


The majority of 5167 members enjoy decent wages (generally higher paid then their private or non-union counterparts), feel secure in their employment and have steady reliable income.  The majority of our members can take a sick day and not fear losing their job and most of us even get paid for that day.  Medical benefits are something that we have bargained into our collective agreements.

However, many of our members or their families struggle with various degrees of precarious employment such as; temporary and contract jobs, part time or casual hours, no paid sick time, low wages (minimum wage), lack of health benefits and a general lack of access to stable full-time jobs.

15 Fairness

Sadly, precarious employment is becoming the new norm in Ontario.  Workers are facing a much harder time finding good paying full time employment.  Employers are more likely to be looking for part-time workers when they are expanding or replacing full-time workers.  In order to make ends meet and support their families, wage earners are forced to juggle multiple part-time positions and work long hours.  They are forced to spend more time away from their families in order to provide for their families.  Their families go without when it comes to accessing health care, going to the dentist or buying medications.

If we (in Hamilton, across the Province and from Coast to Coast) don’t start doing something about this and seeing some change, our children are going to face even more struggles then we could have ever imagined as they enter the workforce.


A living wage reflects what earners in a family need to bring home based on the actual costs of living in a specific community. The living wage is a call to employers to pay wages that are sufficient to provide the basics to families with children.  Those earning minimum wage are living below the poverty line.

Why does a living wage make sense?

The benefits of supporting, paying and earning a living wage are far reaching. A living wage program not only benefits the families working for a living wage, but the community as a whole, as well as the employers who pay living wages.  Employers can expect reduced absenteeism turnover rates as well as increased moral. People who earn more spend more, earning a living wage will put more money back in to the community.

How can we help?

Report to the Union where new Part Time positions are added where a full time positon could have been created.

Talk to your City Councillors about being a Living Wage Employer and supporter.

Talk to your MP’s about setting a Federal Minimum Wage.

Attend a Rally, talk to people about precarious employment.

Share your ideas on how to help with your Unit Vice President.