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Feeling Hung Out To Dry? Do you deliver front-line service but not in line for Covid compensation?

On May 19, 2020 the BC government announced a temporary pandemic pay program to support “health, social services and corrections employees delivering in-person, front-line care during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes employees delivering a range of health and social services to people most vulnerable to COVID-19, where maintaining physical distancing is difficult or impossible.[1]”  The program is cost-shared with the federal government, which provides 75% of the funding. Excluded management staff are currently not eligible for this program. The BC Excluded Employees’ Association (BCEEA) strongly supports the intention of this program and welcomes the recognition it brings to the very real risk and hardships experienced by BC’s front-line workers.  However, we are dismayed that the definition of eligibility excludes all non-unionized management employees.  This is unreasonable and will certainly create a sense of division between groups of employees who are doing essentially the same work – side by side on the front lines, serving a vulnerable population, in a time of immense instability and uncertainty. The core definition of eligibility appears to be: The employee is providing services deemed to be essential: for example, in an office or service point which has remained open to the public and where staff do not have the option to work from home. There is increased risk to the employee from contact with the general public, even where protective measures such as Plexiglas shields and limited access have been put in place, or PPE made available to staff. Increased stress and demands on staff due to adjustments required by COVID-19. Some excluded management employees are working in service areas and in positions where they meet all of these conditions.  BCEEA interviews with a number of members revealed[…]Read More