OPSEU calls on federal government to extend pandemic pay to all front-line health workers


TORONTO – Many front-line health workers risking their lives — and the lives of their families — are not getting pandemic pay, and OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is calling on the federal government to step up. 

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

“The provincial government has indicated that it has run out of funding after offering pandemic pay to 375,000 workers,” said Thomas. “But 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.” 

“The Trudeau Liberals need to step up and fill this arbitrary and unfair void.” With nearly 30,000 cases and more than 2,300 deaths so far, Ontario is one of the hardest-hit provinces.  And with outbreaks still happening in long-term care homes, manufacturing and meat-processing plants, and amongst migrant workers who are vital to agriculture, the burden on health care workers is just getting worse. 

“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,” said Thomas.  

“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.”

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