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Majority in B.C. support continuing to 'level up' pay for long-term care workers

FILE PHOTO. (iStock Photo)
Summary

Right now those workers get that ‘level-up’ pay because they can only work at one facility which limits available hours

88 per cent of people are in favour of continuing to provide these workers with 'leveled up' pay and benefits post-COVID

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A new survey shows that many British Columbians support continued ‘level-up’ pay for long-term care workers — even after the pandemic comes to an end.

Right now those workers get that ‘level-up’ pay because they can only work at one facility. Before the pandemic, workers could take shifts at multiple sites in order to get more hours.

“Right now, many workers in long-term care and assisted living earn less than the provincial standard, and have fewer benefits. Wage rates have been temporarily levelled-up as part of the Provincial Health Officer¹s directive to limit care home workers to a single site,” says a release from Community Savings Credit Union, which complied the research.

The survey found 88 per cent of people are in favour of making sure those employees are looked after both now and in the future.

“The pandemic has put a spotlight on the importance of our long-term care workers and other health care staff who are on the front lines keeping us all safe. Why should it be that only in times of crisis, that health care workers are paid a fair salary across the board?” Community Savings and Credit Union President and CEO Mike Schilling said in a statement.

“The vast majority of British Columbians recognize ­ and support ­levelled-up pay in health care, not just during COVID-19. It would be wrong to cut salaries for these valued health care workers to pre-COVID levels. Our message should be that these workers are valued — and not just during times of crisis.”

Jennifer Whiteside with the Hospital Employees Union said ensuring better pay and benefits for workers will improve overall conditions in care homes.

“B.C. has led the national response to the pandemic by taking decisive action to level-up wages in seniors care to the provincial standard. Going forward, re-establishing a provincial standard for wages and benefits will improve recruitment and retention of staff and improve working and caring conditions throughout the sector.”