TORONTO—Ontario has announced it will be seeking public input on updates to its Fair Wage policy in March, a move that was applauded by the Provincial Building and Construction Trades Council of Ontario.
The provincial media statement issued Feb. 21 explained the province’s Fair Wage policy sets standards on wages and working conditions for contractors, such as building cleaning, security services, building trades and construction workers, to protect them from unfair competition when bidding on government contracts.
"After over 20 years of inaction by governments of different stripes, we welcome today’s announcement that the Ministry of Labour will hold stakeholder consultations on the province’s outdated Fair Wage policy," commented Patrick Dillon, business manager of the council, in a media statement. "This consultation will be an excellent opportunity for us to build a strong case for updating and expanding the Fair Wage as it relates to the construction industry because doing so will ultimately strengthen the middle class in this province."
The review of the Fair Wage policy is consistent with work being done by the Changing Workplace Review, said the province. If updated, it would require contractors bidding on government-procured work to pay their workers a wage based on identifiable, best-documented prevailing rates specific to each discipline of the construction sector, across various regional areas of the province, said the building trades council.
"The Fair Wage policy has the potential to shrink the underground economy in construction by legally requiring contractors bidding on government work to pay their employees a fair wage," said Dillon.