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Pandemic Pay for Unifor Health Care Workers

Since Pandemic pay was announced on April 25, 2020, there has been confusion about who is actually covered.

Unifor was the first union in Ontario to make a public demand for Pandemic Pay on April 17, launching a video and an online petition. Our position has clearly been that any worker who is subject to the Emergency Orders should receive this pay.

Amendments have been made on two occasions, and we are pleased that it is very clear that all our members in long-term care and retirement home will receive the pay.  For those in social services it is also a very inclusive list. We have received clarification that any workers in approved classifications will also receive the pandemic pay, even if they perform the work through a contractor. Here is the link to the full list of who is eligible as it currently stands.

This week, the various ministries will start providing written funding commitments to employer partners and service delivery managers. Pandemic pay will be retroactive to April 24, 2020.  If your employer has not yet begun paying the premium, we expect this will happen soon.

We are extremely disappointed that many workers are excluded from the pandemic pay, especially in the hospital and community care sectors. While we still await clarification on some classifications, it is clear that many workers have been simply left out. This includes technicians and technologists (lab, diagnostic imaging) and therapist’s and therapy assistants (physio, occupational) pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and community laboratory workers. It seems unthinkable that some front-line workers are excluded from the pandemic pay, even while some have been self-isolating, going weeks without seeing their families, simply to protect them.

Unifor will continue to fight for the inclusion of all workers to be entitled to the pandemic pay.  On two occasions, our lobbying has resulted in an expanded list, and we intend to keep doing so.

Please use the form below to send an email to your MPP, the Minister of Health and your MPP, demanding pandemic pay for all.

If you work in one of the excluded classifications, please add a note about what you do and why your hospital would simply not function if those excluded from pandemic pay did not come to work.

Unifor is committed to our continued efforts to win pandemic pay for all.