Pages tagged "paid sick days"

  • Green MLAs want regions hardest hit by COVID to move to Level 3

    New Brunswick’s Green MLAs say that the government needs to take immediate steps to reduce the transmission of COVID in the province’s hardest hit communities so students can go back to school, while also ensuring that healthcare workers are better protected. 

    “The government should implement the Level 3 measures to limit public gatherings to slow the spread of COVID in communities with major outbreaks,” says David Coon, Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South. “This will reduce community spread and should ease the pressure on our hospitals, enabling students to return to school more quickly.”

    The Saint John region has 3,176 active cases with 40 of the Saint John Regional Hospital’s 43 ICU beds filled, while Moncton has 2,152 active cases with 11 out of 14 ICU beds occupied at the Georges Dumont Regional Hospital.

    “We know that what happens in the schools is reflective of the extent of transmission in the community,” said Megan Mitton, the Green critic for Education and Early Childhood Development and MLA for Memramcook-Tantramar.  “The government needs to be proactive to reduce community transmission so students can return to the classroom.”

    Many workers in New Brunswick do not have access to paid sick days; however will be required to stay home to isolate after contracting COVID-19, or being the close contact of a family member who has.

    “More needs to be done to protect healthcare workers, and all of those on the front-lines,” said Kevin Arseneau, the Green advocate for strengthening communities and MLA for Kent North. “This includes providing paid sick days for all workers, distributing N-95 masks to reduce the risks of front-line workers contracting the virus, and making investments in our healthcare system to make it more resilient.”

  • Green Party leader tables bill to support workers and small businesses

    FREDERICTON – Green Party leader and MLA for Fredericton South David Coon tabled a bill in the Legislative Assembly today to improve working conditions for New Brunswick workers. The bill will provide ten paid sick days to all workers in New Brunswick.

    “The pandemic has shown us just how important paid sick days are to public health,” said Coon. “People who are being asked to help the common good by staying home because they have COVID symptoms, or were a close contact of a confirmed case, need to be supported in doing so.”

    New Brunswick’s minimum wage is just $11.75 per hour, the lowest of any province. Coon’s bill will also raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, bringing it in line with British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.

    “In order to address the labour shortage, the minimum wage must be raised closer to a living wage,” said Coon. “This will help businesses find the employees they need and make New Brunswick a more attractive place to live and work.”

    Small and medium businesses have many challenges during this pandemic, so Coon’s bill would have the government establish a fund to ensure the costs of paid sick days and an increased minimum wage do not cause additional hardship as they adapt to the new requirements.

    “For years the government has subsidized large corporations for millions of dollars. Meanwhile small and medium businesses are having difficulty attracting and retaining employees,” said Kevin Arseneau, Green Caucus critic for Economic Development and Small Business. The government should step up to support them with subsidies for wages and sick days, rather than expect employees to continue to subsidize businesses with low wages, perpetuating the labour shortage.”

    The bill will be brought for second reading debate during opposition day this Thursday afternoon.