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Frontline workers calling on province to expand pandemic pay program
Published Wednesday, June 17, 2020 10:53PM EDT
Pandemic pay protestors at Guelph General Hospital. (June 17, 2020)
KITCHENER -- A group of healthcare workers held a protest outside Guelph General Hospital Wednesday, demanding more equality when it comes to pandemic pay.
Local OPSEU and CUPE members say those left off the list include lab workers, clerical workers and maintenance workers.
The Ford government introduced the $4 per hour raise back in April, as a way to recognize frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the local unions say there is a grey area when it comes to some hospital jobs, and some positions have been overlooked.
“Every hospital has different classifications for the same job,” says Linda Pellegrini, the CUPE President for Guelph General Hospital. “What are the duties in one hospital are different in another hospital. So we say all hospital workers are essential.”
The province released a statement to CTV News, saying in part: “We wish we could provide pandemic pay to every frontline worker. Unfortunately, there is a limit to the amount of funding provided by the federal government and we are not able to expand the program beyond the over-375,000 employees already deemed eligible.”