Letter to the Premier - Mandy Gryba , CCA (September, 2020)
This is an email that has been sent to my MLA Danielle Chartier. I wanted to make sure you were sent it directly in the hopes myself and my co workers can be heard!
I am reaching out to you again in the hopes you will be our voice to the officials making the decisions regarding top up wages for health care workers.
The wage supplement that was given out to certain staff under specific guidelines is unfair and insulting.
Many of us have .56 or .75 positions at Homecare. Meaning that, .56 is just over part time and .75 is 3/4 time. There are very few full time positions to be had, and are given out on a seniority basis.
Our wages are terrible!
We are topped out at $23.17 and hour and not guaranteed full time hours. Many of us have to rely on picking up extra shifts or working at two facilities where and when we can, to get full time hours.
This is exactly what we have done throughout the covid pandemic as well. We lost some staff due to cohorting, and staff with small kids who couldn’t find childcare due to schools being closed. The rest of us picked up the unfilled shifts when there was no one else to work, so clients wouldn’t suffer. It makes us all wonder why we did this?
Had we not gone in and worked the extra hours, putting our selves at even more risk, we would qualify for the wage top up.
In the Star Phoenix today, this is being reported
Saskatchewan’s government will give out less than half of a joint federal-provincial fund meant to top up essential workers’ pay in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The temporary wage supplement was intended to assist workers in facilities where essential care was being provided, some of whom might have made the decision to leave their jobs in favour of collecting other benefits like the federal Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB),” he wrote. “This was not a recognition program or form of hazard pay. It was a program to encourage workers to stay on the job in critical care settings during the pandemic.”
I as most of my coworkers did not leave our jobs to collect cerb. As CCA’s we all do the same job description, just at different facilities. I am asking why only staff working in certain facilities were given this “top up””?
Are patients living in long term care more important than our seniors living in the community? Do government officials not care if Homecare staff walk away and collect Cerb, and leave the vulnerable uncared for in their homes? That is what they are indirectly telling us. Most of us don’t qualify because we pick up the open shifts pushing us over the $2500.00 gross cap.
Then we were all excited to hear that we would be qualifying for the top up because it was being opened up without a cap. Once again major slap in the face because we were not included in this.
If we do indeed get a second wave of COVID-19 I wonder what the government is going to do when they have no staff to do the job. Many staff might just decline unfilled shifts. There are a lot of upset, angry healthcare workers.
Maybe some government officials will have to go care for their loved ones, because many of us won’t feel the need to step up and help when the government doesn’t step up for us.
In the media health care workers are being hailed as hero’s by Scott Moe and Goverment officials, what an utter insult and far cry from the way we are treated.
CCA at Saskatoon Homecare