Letter to the Premier - Verna Blondeau, CCA (July, 2020)
To Premier Scott Moe,
I’ve had time to digest the information - or should I say lack of it - in regards to my (in)eligibility for the Saskatchewan Temporary Wage Supplement. For frontline health care workers whose gross monthly income exceeds $2500, here’s how it boils down: some members of the health care team are eligible, and some are not – why?
For long-term care (LTC) workers, the income testing the government has established is grossly different when compared to both home care workers and hospital workers, creating a divisive inequity. As a Continuing Care Assistant (CCA) in home care, I do the same work as my fellow CCAs who are doing incredible work in LTC.
I’ve posed this question to both my MLA and also the Minister of Finance, yet neither could give me an answer as to why home care and acute care have been excluded?? By all means I’m glad my colleagues in long-term care are eligible, they deserve it – but why doesn’t the whole health care team?
I come away feeling like members of the home care team don’t matter at all.....we are working through the entire pandemic and this is how we’re thanked? Maybe this government should ask our clients their opinion of our value; you know the actual people we take care of, who on most days we were the only masked face they have seen.
We were and continue to be there for them as we listen to their fears and try our best to alleviate those fears and answer their questions to best of our ability....so I ask you is it fair that we are left out of this Wage Supplement Program?
Does it make a person feel good about going to work where your value is measured by your government as less than their friends on the whole health care team?? This has little to do with money and more to do with feeling valued as a health care employee in Saskatchewan.
I ask that you put a stop to the income test for a wage supplement and ensure all health care providers are able to access income support. I expect a personalized letter in return answering these important questions and concerns.
Verna Blondeau, CCA