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B.C. health minister assures pandemic pay is coming after months-long delay

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Health Minister Adrian Dix is assuring workers owed pandemic pay the top up is coming, despite delays

B.C. health minister agrees it's taken too long to get pandemic pay to many workers

Province assures it is working on getting B.C. workers pandemic pay promised in the spring

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – B.C.’s health minister is assuring front-line workers, who are still waiting for COVID-19 pandemic pay promised back in May, they won’t have to wait much longer.

Adrian Dix agreed on Monday that it’s taken too long, but promised these workers they would get what they were promised.

“I totally agree with their frustration and obviously we feel it as well. But they’re all going to get their pandemic pay,” he said.

“There was a significant increase when the single side order came into place and those increases have been put in place long ago now, very significantly because they were for direct employees at the time. There was no calculation of working with contractors after the fact.”

It’s not clear how many workers have yet to receive the pandemic pay, which equates to as much as $4 more an hour. The additional pay is supposed to be retroactive to March.

“I agree that it’s taken too long, we all accept that. People are working through it very diligently, but everyone who’s eligible for pandemic pay will receive it without question. It would have been nice that it come sooner but it’s going to be coming,” Dix reiterated.

According to the provincial government, $211 million in pandemic pay has been provided to about 134,000 employees so far.

“We are working to quickly distribute all outstanding payments,” the government website reads. “These payments will continue to be distributed regularly as we process the claims.”

The province expects to complete “nearly all” of the claims submitted by the end of January.