QUEEN’S PARK – An Opposition bill to allow residential superintendents, janitors and caretakers to earn minimum wage has passed second reading at the Ontario Legislature.
On October 5, Timmins MPP Gilles Bisson introduced a bill that would entitle superintendents, janitors and caretakers who work in residential buildings to earn the Ontario minimum wage, in addition to room and board. Bisson’s bill received all party support at second reading during a late night debate on Tuesday, November 24.
“With COVID-19, there is more demand on these workers as they have to increase cleaning and sanitization duties in order to protect residents,” Bisson explained. “It isn’t fair that when you add up their salary and room and board, that they make under minimum wage.”
Under the current Employment Standards Act, 2000, residential superintendents, janitors and caretakers are currently exempt from the Ontario minimum wage.
“I am pleased that my bill received unanimous support,” said Bisson. “I am hopeful that the government will call my bill into committee and eventually get passed into law at third reading.”
The bill has been referred to the Legislative Assembly’s Standing Committee on Estimates.
Bisson’s bill, Bill 210, Fairness for Residential Superintendents, Janitors and Caretakers Act, 2020, will provide that a person who is employed as a superintendent, janitor or caretaker of a residential building and resides in the building is entitled to the minimum wage under Part IX of the Employment Standards Act, 2000. The Bill specifies that the regulation cannot provide that persons so employed are disentitled to the minimum wage. The Bill also provides that room and board for those persons shall not be considered part of their wage.