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Ontario announces $4 an hour pandemic pay increase for front-line workers

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 22nd, 2020 3:14 pm
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Ontario announces $4 an hour pandemic pay increase for front-line workers

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.5545042

Ford said the $4 per hour increase, "pandemic pay premium," will be paid on top of existing hourly wages and it is a financial acknowledgement of their dedication, long hours and the health risks they face. The top-up, in place as of Friday, will continue for 16 weeks.

Those eligible for pandemic pay are staff at long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, what the province calls social services congregate care settings, as well as workers at correctional institutions and youth justice facilities, and those providing home and community care.

It also includes some staff in hospitals, those caring for adults with development disabilities and those who provide support services, such as cooks and cleaners.

Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy said more than 350,000 employees across Ontario will qualify for the pandemic pay.

Good news?
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Sgtalpowell wrote: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.5545042

Ford said the $4 per hour increase, "pandemic pay premium," will be paid on top of existing hourly wages and it is a financial acknowledgement of their dedication, long hours and the health risks they face. The top-up, in place as of Friday, will continue for 16 weeks.

Those eligible for pandemic pay are staff at long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, what the province calls social services congregate care settings, as well as workers at correctional institutions and youth justice facilities, and those providing home and community care.

It also includes some staff in hospitals, those caring for adults with development disabilities and those who provide support services, such as cooks and cleaners.

Treasury Board President Peter Bethlenfalvy said more than 350,000 employees across Ontario will qualify for the pandemic pay.

Good news?
@someweirdo, Conservative governments don't like to provide direct monetary support to workers, eh? ;)

No apology necessary...can be substituted for an upvote on the BCEBW thread. ;)

Friendly ping to @choclover, @maketherightmove, and @chilli604.

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Doug not Ford
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Jon Lai wrote: How is this being administered?
@Jon Lai, I suspect it will be funded directly to the employers, who, in turn, will be contractually bound to pass on that subsidy to the workers, similar to the federal wage subsidy. Otherwise, I can see this being a total clusterfudge of trying to direct workers to apply online and verifying whether they are a front-line worker.

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Doug
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dmehus wrote: @Jon Lai, I suspect it will be funded directly to the employers, who, in turn, will be contractually bound to pass on that subsidy to the workers, similar to the federal wage subsidy. Otherwise, I can see this being a total clusterfudge of trying to direct workers to apply online and verifying whether they are a front-line worker.

Cheers,
Doug
I would assume so, but that means employers would have to apply, with not much incentive or urgency on their part if certain locations don't have a retention issue. Additionally, based on what's been said so far, the criteria is pretty vague in terms of who qualifies.
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Jon Lai wrote: I would assume so, but that means employers would have to apply, with not much incentive or urgency on their part if certain locations don't have a retention issue. Additionally, based on what's been said so far, the criteria is pretty vague in terms of who qualifies.
True. They'll probably have to pass legislation to do this, I suspect. Not sure what sort of broad enabling legislation the Queens Park legislature gave the government with its provincial budget. They may not need to apply at all, but rather, simply pay their employees that premium and then they would be eligible for a refundable provincial tax credit. But that's problematic in that they may not have the cash to do that.

Also, would federally-incorporated businesses be eligible? If so, this could create a provincial wage disparity between Ontario bank branch employees and British Columbia bank branch employees as some banks may be reluctant to pay their British Columbia employees the non-subsidized premium out of their own pocket.

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Doug
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How about truck drivers and supermarket employees that support the supply chain?
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ToDealHunter wrote: How about truck drivers and supermarket employees that support the supply chain?
Grocery store workers are included, no?

Good point on the other, though. :)

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Doug
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It sucks to those working the essential jobs listed on the Ontario list that are not working directly at a hospital, long-term care home or places directly in contact with Covid-19 Patients. The same people are just as exposed outside of those settings where operations are running the same as they are needed to operate business.
Those eligible to receive the payment will be staff working in long-term care homes, retirement homes, emergency shelters, supportive housing, social services congregate care settings, corrections institutions and youth justice facilities, as well as those providing home and community care and some staff in hospitals.

Source: https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2020/04/ ... c-pay.html
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Bleachway wrote: It sucks to those working the essential jobs listed on the Ontario list that are not working directly at a hospital, long-term care home or places directly in contact with Covid-19 Patients. The same people are just as exposed outside of those settings where operations are running the same as they are needed to operate business.
I think its meant to be limited to those in direct contact with COVID patients (Frontline), which would eliminate 90% of essential services (grocery store clerks, truck drivers, postal workers, pharmacists etc). But as I say that, the list includes hospital cooks and custodians, but leaves out Paramedics and Respiratory Therapist, explain that one.
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Jon Lai wrote: Thanks for the link. Looks like pharmacists get shafted again.
Pharmacists earn $50 to $60 an hour. They don't need it.
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Jon Lai wrote: Thanks for the link. Looks like pharmacists get shafted again.
As they always do, Jon
Sgtalpowell wrote: Pharmacists earn $50 to $60 an hour. They don't need it.
That would be nice! I would say the average wage out West at least is anywhere between $35-55 depending on location/management level (avg. low $40's)
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aanickaa wrote: That would be nice! I would say the average wage out West at least is anywhere between $35-55 depending on location/management level (avg. low $40's)
Yes, there are some small, independently-owned pharmacies... they earn less on average. Otherwise, I see high wages most of the time.
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May 14, 2015
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Eh. I think they're only doing this after realizing how short-staffed people are at LTC and hospitals. It should've been administered far sooner. Perhaps people would have been less likely to lie about working two jobs, which in turn could have helped with the infection rates in LTC. It's a real shame that people had to die for this to come out, though I'm sure there's other more positive ways of looking at this.
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Sgtalpowell wrote: Pharmacists earn $50 to $60 an hour. They don't need it.
10 years ago, maybe. New grads start at just low $30's right now. Unless they were grandfathered from 10 years ago, almost nobody is making over $50/hr.

Oakville Pharmacy manager only makes 100K, that's around $50/hr. That's for a manager.
https://www.thestar.com/business/person ... house.html
[OP]
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Jon Lai wrote: 10 years ago, maybe. New grads start at just low $30's right now. Unless they were grandfathered from 10 years ago, almost nobody is making over $50/hr.

Oakville Pharmacy manager only makes 100K, that's around $50/hr. That's for a manager.
https://www.thestar.com/business/person ... house.html
And how much you make? You don't look like a new grad to me...
It is hard to believe considering the minimum wage has been going up to $15 an hour.
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Sgtalpowell wrote: And how much you make? You don't look like a new grad to me...
It is hard to believe considering the minimum wage has been going up to $15 an hour now.
I'm not a pharmacist but know many :)

Pharmacists enjoyed high wages until early 2010's because there used to only be one pharmacy school in Ontario (UofT). In 2014 the first UW cohort entered the work force, thereby doubling the amount of new grads each year. The wages have been dropping since.
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Where is the transit operators and police?

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