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            November 17, 2017                                                                                                

Take Action: Ontario government ministries must support Bill 148 implementation costs for the nonprofits they fund, starting January 1, 2018

We’ve got a signal: Now it’s time for a commitment!

Finance Minister Charles Sousa has released his Fall Economic Update, which signalled that the Ontario government will work with provincially-funded nonprofits to offset the new labour costs associated with the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148). Our sector needs to send a strong message that a firm commitment is needed now!

From the Update (p. 32):

“The government appreciates that these significant benefits are also not without some associated costs. It is committed to working with its delivery partners such as those in the broader public sector and the not-for-profit sector, to help ensure they successfully manage the transition in the lead-up to January 1, 2018 and beyond.”

The government has provided hard commitments to the small business sector for within-year support, effective January 1, 2018. And the robust growth of the Ontario economy, as stated in the update, means that the Ontario government can afford to take measures to offset the costs Bill 148 imposes on provincially-funded nonprofits.

It is time for commitments to Ontario’s nonprofit sector to continue our vital services and supports to communities across the province.

Bill 148

The bill is set to become law by the end of December 2017. It enacts several key changes to Ontario labour laws including an increased minimum wage; mandatory paid sick days; equal pay for work of equal value for part-time and casual staff; new scheduling and notice requirements; and several other changes that affect nonprofit employers and employees.

ONN supports employment standards that foster decent work practices for nonprofit organizations and for the people and communities we serve. As community-focused and run organizations, Ontario nonprofits have a key role to play in supporting and leading decent work practices.

Decent funders

Public and private funders of nonprofits must acknowledge that these higher standards come with costs. “Decent funders” should build these costs into their funding agreements.

Who this affects and when

All nonprofits with paid staff in Ontario could be affected by Bill 148. The minimum wage increase of $14 an hour goes into effect January 1, 2018, with additional provisions in effect April 1, 2018 and onwards. That means board-approved budgets and funding agreements already in place for 2017-18 may need to be revisited.

What’s at stake

We know from our active outreach to the sector that many provincially-funded nonprofits have had their funding agreements flat-lined for five to ten years or longer. There is no space in their budgets to absorb new labour costs. Many nonprofits have told us they will have to reduce service levels in the communities they serve if Ontario ministries don’t step up and fill in the gap.

These additional and unanticipated costs must be covered in the current fiscal year and on an ongoing basis.

Please take action by December 1, 2017

Ask your provincial funders and MPPs for concrete measures to cover Bill 148-related labour costs imposed on nonprofits that deliver services to communities on behalf of government. To secure a commitment before fiscal-year-end, we need to send a message now.

This is an important sector-wide issue where we can show the impact and strength of the 55,000 nonprofits and charities across Ontario. We know that most nonprofits with paid staff will be affected by some or all of Bill 148 provisions whether they get provincial dollars or not- so talk to your funders and donors about your commitment to decent work and the need for new statutory labour costs to be reflected in your funding agreements. Let’s channel our voices and advocate for our community-driven missions and the people we serve!

Use our template or create your own to share your key messages with provincial funders. You can also use this to encourage your municipal, federal, and private funders to be “decent funders.”

What nonprofits need to successfully implement Bill 148

ONN has asked the Ontario government to provide:

  • Increased labour costs associated with Bill 148 will be reflected in transfer payment agreements (TPAs) for the next fiscal year (April 1, 2018) and beyond.

  • Transitional assistance for 2017-2018 TPAs will be available to reflect estimated increased costs for the last quarter of the current fiscal year (Jan-Mar. 2018).

  • Routine inflationary increases will be incorporated in future for TPAs across ministries, based on the Consumer Price Index.

What can you do?

  1. Write to your MPP: list by electoral district; find your electoral district name here.

  2. Write to your provincial minister(s).

  3. Write to your other funder(s).

What should you say?

Here’s an easy-to-tailor template to personalize, or create your own, and send your comments.

Don’t forget to send us a copy at Bill148@theonn.ca so we can gather sector perspectives!

Key messages for provincial funders and elected officials

The Ontario government must align its funding practices with its role as employment standards regulator.

The Ontario government has developed mitigating solutions for other sectors affected by this legislation and we ask that the same consideration be given to the nonprofit sector and its workers.

Provincial ministries must find the money in their 2017-2018 budgets to offset the nonprofit budget pressures created through the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (Bill 148). Some of these hard costs start on January 1, 2018, i.e., within the current fiscal year for which transfer payment agreements have already been signed.

Resources: What's the impact of Bill 148 on your organization?

How will Bill 148 and related updates to the Employment Standards Act affect your nonprofit’s human resource policies and budget?

Our sector survey (conducted in August) indicated a large proportion of the sector has not come to terms with its potential costs.

In response to these findings, we shared 5 Things you need to know and Do About Bill 148 to keep the sector up to date.


Costing tool: Have you reviewed your human resources policies and staff contracts and calculated the potential impacts of Bill 148 on your organization? How much will this affect your organization’s budget? (Not sure where to start? Try this template developed by sector organization Carlington Community Health Centre.) ONN is developing an online tool that will help a variety of nonprofit employers calculate their Bill 148 costs so they can better communicate them to public and private funders. Stay tuned for updates.

ONN’s commitment to decent work for nonprofit sector workers

Since 2015, ONN has been building a decent work movement in the nonprofit sector. You can read more about our work here. Download our decent work toolkit, which includes a decent work checklist and a decent work charter.

Share this Action Alert!

Sample tweets and posts

Take action! Ontario government ministries must support #Bill148 implementation costs for the nonprofits they fund, starting January 1, 2018. http://bit.ly/2j4mUpt #TakeAction #WeAdvocate #PublicBenefit

Provincial ministries must find the money in their 2017-2018 budgets to offset the nonprofit budget pressures created through #Bill148. Tell your provincial ministry and MPP! http://bit.ly/2j4mUpt #TakeAction #WeAdvocate #PublicBenefit #ONpoli

Tell your Ontario minister and MPP: Ontario government must support nonprofits through increased budget pressures from #Bill148. #TakeAction #WeAdvocate #PublicBenefit http://bit.ly/2j4mUpt

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Ontario Nonprofit Network | @Foundation House | 2 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 300 | Toronto, ON, M4T 2T5 | (416) 642-5786


Ontario Nonprofit Network | 2 St. Clair Avenue East, Suite 300 | Toronto, ON M4T 2T5 | (416) 642-5786 | info@theonn.ca
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