VON workers were led to believe they would receive bonus pay for keeping seniors safe throughout the pandemic. The McNeil-Rankin Liberals have yet to make good on a promise to see them compensated for their frontline heroics.
To mark April 6 - National Caregiver Day in Canada - PC MLA John Lohr tabled a petition of signatures asking why the government said one thing when the cameras were on, and then did another when nobody was looking.
“The Liberal government was quick to applaud these workers last April,” says Lohr, “But now it’s April 2021 and these workers still don’t have the pandemic bonus they were promised. It’s not right.”
On May 7, 2020, former Premier Stephen McNeil launched a federally subsidized pandemic pay bonus of $2,000 for frontline healthcare workers. On July 9th, more details were released and VON Client Service Associates were left out. In the petition tabled today, VON pointed out that they were not given the option to work from home like other office staff.
Lohr says It stands to reason that they fit the description of pandemic pay.
“We heard a lot about the Nova Scotian spirit throughout this pandemic. Withholding this money isn’t very Nova Scotian at all.”
CUPE and the NSGEU had previously voiced their concerns about the McNeil-Rankin Liberal about-face for frontline workers. Lohr was pleased to present the petition today and says that these concerns are not going away.
“Any argument to say that these workers are not front-line essential workers, is disingenuous,” says Lohr. “It’s just the province trying to save a buck on the backs of the people who put the safety of others above their own safety.”