Will the Federal Budget 2024 be good for workers?

April 16, 2024

Workers need to see investments in workers and pay bumps that keep them ahead of inflation so they can keep up with their spending power. Increased funding across various sectors, especially healthcare, is imperative. Canadian unions champion enhanced healthcare funding to guarantee accessible, high-quality services. The same is valid for education, home care, long-term care, and all public services, including fair wages and benefits for recruitment and retention of future staffing needs. Public services are the backbone of a fair and equitable society and are essential for the well-being of all citizens.

We see Investment in Affordable Housing, and our unions have emphasized the need for affordable housing investment to address the housing crisis. Affordable housing initiatives can help alleviate homelessness, improve living conditions, and support vulnerable populations, contributing to a more equitable society.

We need better protections for workers’ rights, including fair bargaining and the freedom to reach agreements, as well as measures to strengthen labour laws, protect collective bargaining, and enhance workplace safety standards. Upholding workers’ rights is essential for fair treatment, job security, and a healthy work environment.

We hope to see actual steps towards a National Pharmacare Program. Many unions advocate for a national pharmacare program to ensure all Canadians can access necessary prescription medications. They argue that a pharmacare program would improve health outcomes and reduce overall healthcare costs through bulk purchasing and better management of drug prices.

We need to get affordable childcare with even more investments in affordable childcare to help balance work and family responsibilities. We know affordable childcare is essential for gender equality in the workforce and can stimulate economic growth by enabling more parents to work.

We need more education and training programs to prepare workers for tomorrow’s jobs, which are good union jobs. Unions have typically called for increased funding for education and training programs to help workers adapt to the changing job market. Upskilling and reskilling workers are vital for maintaining a competitive economy, especially in the face of technological advancements.

We need much more investment in climate action and green jobs. Such investments in climate action initiatives will create sustainable, well-paying jobs. The importance of transitioning to a green economy that supports workers and communities, particularly those currently reliant on carbon-intensive industries, cannot be understated.

We must prioritize pension security, protect the CPP, and build other networks of defined pension benefits plans. We need assurances that pension plans are protected and adequately funded because retirees deserve stability after a lifetime of work. We must also address income inequality and work towards a fairer distribution of wealth. The Budget is an opportunity to invest in the country’s most valuable resource – its people. 

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