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.”
Q: As many as 80K front liner workers still waiting for pandemic top up pay and feel forgotten. Will they get the pay before Christmas?@adriandix: Will get pay they are promised. Has been quite complicated. Some contract providers have have not got it. I agree with frustration
— Lasia Kretzel (@lkretzel1130) December 14, 2020
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.