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