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Dear OPSEU member and healthcare worker: we continue to fight for pandemic pay

June 11 marked the three-month anniversary of the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization. It’s been a challenging time and OPSEU couldn’t be more proud of you.

OPSEU’s Health Care Divisional Council (HCDC) stands with you in solidarity and appreciates all the incredible work you have made in the face of perhaps the worst health crisis we have ever known. It is professionals like you who are the true heroes during this pandemic.

While you are working hard to keep Ontarians safe, OPSEU is working around the clock to keep you safe, and to make sure the provincial and federal governments do everything in their power to give you the recognition and tools you deserve.

The HCDC continues to fight for those of you excluded from pandemic pay, obtaining better access to PPE for everyone, risk assessments in redeployment situations, and all other major health and safety issues taking place in most of your respective fields.

Without your passionate efforts, Ontario would be in a much worse place than it is now. We also recognize that in these extreme times, it is important that you take care of your own wellbeing. Your mental and physical health is essential to you as an individual, to your families, to your communities, and the people in your direct care.

Be kind to your mind and body. The World Health Organization has many tools on this subject that you can find here. We hope that this, along with your own personal support and self-help groups, provide you with positive methods to recharge and cope.

We are aware that further attention and demands on your time and efforts may soon be needed. As Ontario enters Stage 2 of the economic reopening process, additional COVID-19 cases are a real possibility. Stay safe as the province opens up again. Wear masks even when not at work.

We are still all in this together and the HCDC, and OPSEU as a whole, is extremely thankful for all that you do, and the fact that you remain as committed to the health of Ontarians today, as you did three months ago.

Be safe, and take care. We are thinking of you.

In Solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice President/Treasurer
Jill McIllwraith, OPSEU’s Health Care Divisional Council Chair
Jamie Ramage, OPSEU Ambulance Chair
Joan Corradetti, OPSEU Long Term Care Chair
Sara Labelle, OPSEU Hospital Professionals Chair
Lucy Morton, OPSEU Community Health Care Professionals Chair
Ed Arvelin, OPSEU Mental Health and Addictions Chair
Geoff Cain, OPSEU CBS and Diagnostics Chair