Union calling on federal government to provide health care workers with pandemic pay


Published June 4, 2020 at 12:09 am


The Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU) is urging the Federal Government to step and provide front-line health care workers—many of whom are risking their health by working—with pandemic pay.

“Pandemic pay is a vital recognition of the sacrifices these workers are making to get us through this pandemic, but there’s a void,” OPSEU President Warren Thomas, said in a news release. “Why isn’t it being offered to all of the health care workers in our hospitals, and other congregate settings?”

According to Thomas, the Province announced, after providing pandemic pay to 375,000 workers, they had exhausted available funds.

“There are thousands more who are facing exactly the same kinds of risks and hardships. The Premier has said he would love to extend it to all workers if only the province had the money. That’s where the federal government comes in,” Thomas said.

At nearly 30,000 cases of COVID-19, and nearly 2,300 deaths attributed to the virus, Ontario has been one of the hardest-hit provinces during the pandemic.

Further, with outbreaks still occurring in long-term care facilities, manufacturing and meat-processing plants, and amongst migrant workers who are vital to agriculture, the burden on health care workers has remained constant.

“It’s imperative for the federal government to show its support for all of Ontario’s front-line health heroes and come to the table with more support,” Thomas said. 

“The sooner the engine of the national economy emerges from the pandemic, the sooner Canada will be able to recover. Prime Minister, Ontario needs your help,” he continued.

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