Thunder Bay

Thunder Bay hospital CEO asks for pay raise to include all health-care workers, not just front-line

A pay raise extended to nurses, paramedics and other front-line health care workers should be available to all staff in the health care sector, regardless of their title, said the President and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Jean Bartkowiak says managers, administration should also be included for hard work

Jean Bartkowiak is the new President and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health. He says the province should increase the pay for all health care employees, including those in management and administration. (Supplied)

A pay raise extended to nurses, paramedics and other front-line health care workers should be available to all staff in the health care sector, regardless of their title, said the president and CEO of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

Jean Bartkowiak wrote a letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, asking for the $4h/hr increase, announced at the end of April, to be extended to a number of other workers.

"They're happy for the nursing staff, for instance, who got recognition, but a phlebotomist who draws blood side-by-side with a nurse doesn't warrant similar recognition, so that's what's creating a bit of reaction from those groups of employees that don't have the benefit of similar recognition."

Bartkowiak said the increase should also be extended to cleaners and those who disinfect and maintain equipment, along with front-line managers.

He added that hospital administrators should also be included, as just going into the hospital puts them at risk.

"They still are coming in and potentially being exposed. And they're managers and leaders going on the floors and coming back to the office." 

"Many of my staff have been working for the last more than eight months, seven days a week, sometimes more than 12 hours a day, coaching and supporting their respective teams. I think that warrants some recognition as well."

Bartkowiak said CEOs should be exempt from the pay increase.

He said when it comes to some front-line staff being given extra compensation by the province, and some not, he feels it was an oversight. He said the announcement may have been made without a complete understanding of all the positions within a hospital.

In the original announcement, the Ford government said the pandemic pay would be extended to 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.

The pay was also extended shortly thereafter to paramedics across Ontario.

When the announcement was first made, Ford said it was to recognize the dedication, long hours and health risks faced by front line staff.

CBC News has requested a comment from Ontario Premier Doug Ford's office on the letter, but has not yet received a response.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.

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