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Pandemic pay – COVID-19 update, May 20 - BCGEU

First, I would like to acknowledge the frontline workers that are finally receiving pandemic pay, many of these people were directly caring for people that are at risk, elderly and some of the most vulnerable people. Congratulations, you deserve to be recognized for your dedication and service during a pandemic and through this difficult time, we all thank you for your work and dedication.

Next I would like to comment on the workers that were not recognized with pandemic pay. Your component, your union and your president do acknowledge your work during this pandemic and requested that all BCGEU members working during the pandemic receive the pay for recognizing your work and efforts. This decision rests solely with the provincial government and they had the ability and authority to make the decision on this pay.

"We are happy that some of the lowest-wage members doing some of the highest-risk frontline jobs will be eligible. But the bottom line for us is that all frontline workers are shouldering an incredible burden in terms of increased cost, stress and inconvenience as well as increased risks to their emotional and physical health. All workers deserve recognition – not just some of them," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith.

This conversation will continue, requesting recognition of workers that provided essential services during the pandemic so that others could stay home, keeping us safe and flattening the curve. This includes following up with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Sector Employers' Council (PSEC) to get clarity on how government made their decisions, and to push for broader eligibility for the program.

Your component and your union have not stopped trying and working on your behalf when seemingly unsurmountable obstacles have been in front of us before, have faith that we are here and constantly working on your behalf.

Rory Smith
Component 10 Vice-President