Staff at Toronto’s Rekai Centre were the first in Ontario to receive the COVID-19 vaccine but have yet to receive the $3 an hour bonus that was due to them.
The Ford government announced on Oct. 1 that all personal support workers in Ontario were to receive the temporary pay bump in recognition of the work they are doing, but some workers of the Rekai Centre reached out to 680 NEWS to indicate that they have yet seen a cent of it.
The CEO of The Rekai Centres, Sue Graham-Nutter, confirmed to 680 NEWS that this is correct, saying “we have just received the funding and the staff will receive the money retro to Oct. 1, 2020.”
SCOOP – PSW’s at The Rekai Centre were the first in Ontario to receive the vaccine but have yet to receive the $3 an hour bonus that was due to them and all PSW’s. Rekai’s CEO says “We have just received the funding and the staff will receive the money retro to Oct 1, 2020." pic.twitter.com/EfXaZFXVbI
— Richard Southern (@richard680news) December 14, 2020
At the time, the Ford government said the province was providing a “temporary wage increase effective Oct. 1” to over 147,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services, including:
- $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in-home and community care;
- $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;
- $2 per hour for approximately 12,300 eligible workers in public hospitals; and
- $3 per hour for approximately 47,000 eligible workers in children, community, and social services providing personal direct support services for the activities of daily living.
Anita Quidangen, a long-time PSW at the Rekai Centre, was the first person in Ontario to get the Pfizer vaccine on Monday, with the government noting that “she worked tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, oftentimes doing double shifts.”
“Personal support workers and direct support workers care for some of our most vulnerable patients and have been critical in the fight against COVID-19,” Ontario’s health minister said Oct. 1 at the time of the funding announcement.
“The pandemic has created additional pressures on these workers and as cases increase and we prepare for the upcoming flu season, this wage enhancement recognizes their important role in providing care for those in need.”
But Anita was among those who have not received their promised bonus, though the Rekai Centres CEO says it will be paid out at some point in December.
The government said the $3-dollar wage enhancement would be reviewed on a regular basis and could extend through March 31 of next year “in connection with regulations made under the ‘Reopening Ontario Act’.