Letter to Premier Ford regarding ineligibility of Pandemic Pay to many healthcare workers


June 1, 2020

Sent by email: @email

Hon. Doug Ford

Office of the Premier

Legislative Building, Queen’s Park

Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

Re: Many health care workers remain ineligible for pandemic pay

Dear Premier Ford,

In previous correspondences to you, Unifor recognized the importance of the $4 per hour “pandemic pay premium” that is being provided for front-line workers during this crisis. We certainly agree that these workers deserve the extra compensation given their roles in this crisis, their hard work, the health risks that they face while on the job and the need to self-isolate from their families to protect them.

We appreciate the efforts to date to be more inclusive in who will receive pandemic pay, but we still believe that there are important front-line classifications of workers who have been excluded, and yet face these same risks, particularly in the hospital and community care sector. Many of these workers have been self-isolating for several weeks to protect their families. Imagine that they may not have seen their children for weeks, yet remain ineligible for pandemic pay.

Unifor demands that pandemic pay be extended to these critical workers including but not limited to:

  • All support staff in hospitals, who are subject to the government’s emergency orders including redeployment.
    • Therapy staff (e.g. physiotherapists, occupational therapists and assistants, etc.)
    • Technologist and technician staff; commonly referred to as paramedical staff (e.g. medical imaging technologists, radiation technologists, laboratory technicians, pharmacy techs, etc.)
  • All non-management staff working in community medical laboratories.
  • All non-management staff working in hospices.
  • Medical secretaries and research nurses employed by universities who are working in hospitals.
  • Workers who are maintaining facilities that are housing medical (hospital) personnel who are unable to go home due to quarantine restrictions (for example, McMaster University staff are maintaining a campus residence that is being utilized for this purpose).

To simplify matters, as you did in the long-term care and retirement sectors, eligible employees should include all non-management employees working on site.

In addition to ensuring that workers currently eligible receive their pandemic pay in a timely manner, we urge your government to look at filling these eligibility gaps and make sure that none of these important workers are left out.


Jerry Dias

National President

cc. Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton; Minister of Health Christine Elliott