Ontario Expands List of Workers Eligible for Pandemic Pay Raise

Written by: Angelo Cruz

The Ontario government has released an updated list of frontline workers eligible for the temporary pay raise during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The updated list comes days after Premier Doug Ford announced the “Pandemic Pay Premium” that was said to take place on Friday April 24 until August 13, which includes a four dollar pay raise per hour and a 250$ monthly lump sum payment for their services.

When the pay raise was announced, many frontline workers were concerned as their positions had not been included in the initial list.

As a result of that, the Ontario government announced an updated list that includes more frontline worker positions eligible for this pay raise and bonus.

On Tuesday April 28, an announcement by the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) confirmed that expansion was agreed upon by the Ford government, and that would expand to more positions.

Paramedics, respiratory therapists, public health nurses, and all addiction and mental health workers who serve the same functions as their counterparts are all eligible for the pay raise and bonus.

“I applaud the government for listening and moving the yardsticks,” said OPSEU President Warren “Smokey” Thomas.

“As soon as the original plan was made public, my office was in touch with the government officials lobbying hard for additions to the eligibility list”.

The average worker will earn over $3,560 more over the next four months with the pay raise in effect according to Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy.

Premier Doug Ford calls this increase a “small token of our appreciation” for the frontline workers as the pandemic continues.

“We are so, so grateful for the hard work that healthcare workers and other people involved in taking care of COVID patients are doing”.

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