Laura Mae Lindo MPP, Kitchener Centre

Government of Ontario

NDP demands Ford stop withholding promised pandemic pay for PSWs

Published on December 1, 2020

QUEEN’S PARK – After months of waiting for their promised pandemic pay, PSWs need their pandemic pay now, said Sudbury MPP Jamie West, the NDP’s Labour Relations critic.
“During the first wave, as PSWs kept working, Doug Ford kept stalling on the pandemic pay he promised them,” said West. “Now that we are in the second wave, workers were hopeful that the delays have been resolved.
“However, in October, the premier announced a temporary wage enhancement, for public sector PSWs. It’s now December, and the money still hasn’t flowed from the Ford government to workers.” 
West said the Ford government have provided no information on when workers will receive their promised pandemic wage increase.  
“Nobody seems to know anything about when the money for our health care heroes will be coming,” said West. “Workers are disappointed. Employers are frustrated. When can these workers expect this temporary increase?”
West said Ford needs to come through for workers like Terry Rochefort, a PSW in Sudbury who has been working at Pioneer Manor, a long-term care home, for nearly 10 years and was counting on the promised wage top-up.
“Terry loves his job, and is proud to be helping during the pandemic,” said West. “Terry said it was extremely difficult for him, his colleagues and the residents when the pandemic struck. Almost overnight, their world changed. Hours and shifts were changed. The workplace demanded more from them, and they responded with everything they had. They deserve so much better.”
The NDP has called for the government to give pandemic pay to all frontline workers rather than picking and choosing; and to make pandemic pay retroactive to the beginning of the pandemic. The NDP has also committed to giving PSWs in Ontario a permanent $5 per hour raise, and to turn PSW jobs into full-time careers rather than part-time and temp jobs.