I am pleased to announce that after a series of conversations with government, pandemic pay will now be expanded to more frontline workers, including:
- Respiratory therapists
- Public health nurses
- All addictions and mental health workers who, in a congregate setting, serve the same functions as workers in acute-care hospital settings previously noted as receiving pandemic pay.
And as I said before, OPSEU will not be collecting union dues on any pandemic pay that members receive.
As soon as the original plan was made public, my office was in touch with government officials lobbying hard for additions to the eligibility list. And while today’s expansion is not everything we asked for, I applaud the government for listening and moving the yardsticks.
We will continue to work to ensure all employers remain focused on ensuring front-line workers’ jobs are protected and that they have the requisite safety equipment.
Again, thank you for your work and commitment. I am proud, as all Ontarians are, of the work you are doing during this crisis.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas