Letter to the Premier - Brenda Berry, CCA (April, 2020)
To Premier Moe,
I watched the news on April 22, 2020 at 6:00pm and was disappointed in your address to the province.
As Premier, you are always thanking the doctors and registered nurses, but as a Continuing Care Assistant who works in a hospital and a long term care home, I provide hands on care to our patients, residents, and clients. I am responsible for dressing, feeding, bathing, medications, lifting, repositioning, and reporting. As a part of the health care team, I know we are a very caring and compassionate group of people. During this pandemic we are the only people our residents see and we try to be as positive and uplifting as we can, but they are often lonely and unable to comprehend why their loved ones have stopped coming to see them. We are their connection to the outside world.
The Environmental Service Workers do amazing work performing enhanced cleaning to ensure our facilities do not harbour or transmit any viruses but in a health care setting, it is very difficult going to work each day, always unsure whether I’ll contract COVID-19 or take it home to my family.
I am disappointed that I have not had a pay increase since April 1, 2016. Meanwhile, my government legislates pay increases for themselves regularly, and at a level that is more than what you offered to us. You asked us to take a 3.5% rollback, and now we’re being offered two years of zeroes and 1%, 2%, and 2% over 5 years. That's 5% over five years, but MLAs have always received larger increases (not to mention your much higher salary).
I continue to go to work and provide quality care to our patients, residents and clients in this uncertain time. I would really appreciate the government providing the finances required for SAHO to get back to the bargaining table and bring a decent proposal that myself and fellow health care providers can accept. After all, we are the backbone of the frontline in healthcare.