Letter to the Premier - Lori Fehr, MOA (July, 2020)
To the Premier,
I have worked in health care for almost 20 years, and I’m writing to you for the first time because there is an urgent need to address the current struggles we’re facing.
I work as a Medical Office Assistant (MOA) and a Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) at St. Paul’s Hospital – while my primary job is the MOA position, I’m often pulled to do CCA work due to the understaffing.
I’ve noticed a huge difference in health care from when I first started to now – workload is way up, there are fewer staff, and health care needs are increasing. These conditions are causing safety concerns, and are certainly impacting the ability to recruit and retain new health care staff. To add to this, our frontline health care team has not had a raise in over three years. We turned down the offer of zeroes because we know we’re worth more – by calling us heroes as we work through the COVID-19 pandemic, don’t you agree? You cannot call us heroes on one hand and in the other, offer zeroes (rollbacks).
The pressure of stagnant wages is having a detrimental effect on both our work lives and home lives. Personally, my family and I have had a very hard time paying for bills and groceries. I have my children living at home because my grandson, Emmet, was in need of extra attention and who I’m devastated to say we lost in April of this year – you may have heard about him in the media, called baby Emmet. Families like ours shouldn’t be struggling to make ends meet – no one should.
I ask that you please step in to ensure our health care team earns what we deserve – it is under your leadership as to whether frontline health care staff are treated with respect. Please respond to this letter personally.