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OPSEU applauds Ford’s pay increase for frontline workers, and won’t collect union dues on it

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas and First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida
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TORONTO – The leaders of OPSEU are applauding Premier Doug Ford and his government for increasing the pay of a large number of frontline public sector workers in recognition of the vital and dangerous work they’re doing during the pandemic. 

“The Premier has said he wants to support frontline workers, and he’s keeping his word,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “This pay increase is important recognition of the personal sacrifice that so many are making to help get Ontario safely through this crisis. It’s not for managers, it’s for the real heroes: the people on the frontlines. 

“The Premier is providing the leadership that Ontario needs,” said Thomas. “And so is the Prime Minister. I’d like to thank him also for all the support being provided by the federal government.” 

The pandemic pay increase of $4 an hour applies to a wide variety of frontline public sector workers who work in close contact with vulnerable members of the public in hospitals, long-term care facilities, retirement and group homes, shelters, residential facilities, and correctional institutions. These workers will also be paid an additional $250 per month if they work more than 100 hours in that month. It applies to almost every worker in these facilities, including personal support workers, housekeeping and maintenance staff, cooks, correctional officers, nurses, and administrative support staff. 

The hourly pay increase and lump-sum payments begin effective April 24 and will be in effect for 16 weeks. “This demonstrates once again that the Premier gets it,” said OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “OPSEU gets it, too. That’s why we won’t be collecting dues on a cent of this pandemic pay.” 

“We’ll also be working with the government to ensure that this pay increase goes to as many frontline public sector workers as possible. Goodness knows they all deserve it.” 

For more information:
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931