Hamilton Health Sciences workers protest for co-workers left out of COVID-19 pay bump

Hamilton front-line, health-care workers will host a small protest Thursday afternoon to protest about how some staff are not included in the $4 an hour COVID-19 pandemic pay raise.

At 3 p.m. unionized employees will stage a demonstration outside of Hamilton General Hospital

Hamilton Health Sciences workers will protest outside of Hamilton General Hospital on Thursday to support co-workers who aren't getting a pay raise during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Bobby Hristova/CBC)

Hamilton front-line, health-care workers will protest on Thursday afternoon in response to some of their co-workers having been excluded from the COVID-19 pandemic pay raise.

At 3 p.m., unionized employees from Hamilton Health Sciences will stage a demonstration outside of Hamilton General Hospital on Barton Street East.

Stella Yeadon, a spokesperson for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, said the "small" protest is taking place at a shift change, to maintain physical distancing and avoid neglecting patients.

In April, Premier Doug Ford announced that Ontario will provide a $4 per hour salary increase for front-line workers as part of a temporary pandemic payment to recognize their efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

"It's our way of saying thank you," he said.

Yeadon added that didn't include the people who deliver food to patients, maintenance staff, workers who sterilize ventilators and ward clerks who conduct questionnaires.

In addition, Yeadon said, "not a dime" dedicated to the workers has been paid out yet.

"Tens of thousands of health care staff who work on the hospital front lines – including those in Hamilton, have been excluded from receiving the pandemic recognition pay announced by the province last month," reads a release from the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

"Since the COVID pandemic began in Ontario, [CUPE] health care sector members have been vocal that neither they, their patients or the residents they care for are adequately protected from infection."


Bobby Hristova is a journalist with CBC Hamilton. He reports on all issues, but has a knack for stories that hold people accountable, stories that focus on social issues and investigative journalism. He previously worked for the National Post and CityNews in Toronto. You can contact him at bobby.hristova@cbc.ca.


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