Advertisement

B.C. government apologizes to thousands of hospital workers still owed pandemic pay

Click to play video 'Premier John Horgan on British Columbians still waiting for ‘pandemic pay’' Premier John Horgan on British Columbians still waiting for ‘pandemic pay’
Global BC reporter Richard Zussman asks Premier John Horgan if he thinks it's "acceptable" that some British Columbians have not yet received pandemic pay after waiting for months. Horgan says he is "frustrated" by the delay, and government officials are working on a solution. – Dec 15, 2020

The B.C. government has apologized to thousands of hospital workers who still have not received their COVID-19 pandemic pay.

The Hospital Employees Union, representing workers around the province, said about 80,000 workers are still waiting for the benefit, promised in May to more than 250,000 frontline staff as a wage top-up.

The delay is “frustrating and unacceptable,” the union said.

In an online post, the B.C. government said it apologizes for “the significant impact this delay has had.”

Click to play video 'Thousands of B.C. frontline workers are still waiting on promised pandemic pay' Thousands of B.C. frontline workers are still waiting on promised pandemic pay
Thousands of B.C. frontline workers are still waiting on promised pandemic pay – Dec 16, 2020

Read more: B.C. Loblaws employees rally on Labour Day to restore COVID-19 pandemic pay

Story continues below advertisement

On Monday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the employees will get the pay they were promised, adding the process “has been quite complicated.”

“I think the Ministry of Finance in B.C. has done a good job of administering it, but nonetheless, it feels like it has taken too long for direct employees,” Dix said.

“For example, health authorities have generally already received it while others who are contracted providers … who were eligible for the pandemic pay in some cases have not, or in a significant number of cases have not. I totally agree with their frustration. We feel that as well. But they will all get their pandemic pay.”

Click to play video 'Unions push for pandemic pay as COVID-19 numbers climb' Unions push for pandemic pay as COVID-19 numbers climb
Unions push for pandemic pay as COVID-19 numbers climb – Nov 4, 2020

The pandemic pay is a lump sum of about $4 an hour covering a 16-week period from March to July.

Story continues below advertisement

It is still not clear exactly when the remaining employees will receive it.

The government said, to date, $211 million in temporary pandemic pay has been provided to approximately 134,000 eligible employees.