TORONTO, ON – A wage increase for some Ontario health care and social service staff is belated recognition by the provincial government of the immense contribution and sacrifice this mostly female workforce is making in the fight against COVID-19, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said today. “It is also, in our view, a tacit admission that this government has finally come to terms with the consequences of their choices, which have led to a staffing crisis in the very services that they are now relying on to get us through this pandemic emergency,” says CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn.
While the world and our communities are, understandably, prioritizing the global COVID-19 pandemic, there is another global crisis that we can’t forget: the climate crisis. Even as we are fighting this pandemic, let us also remember there is a lot of work needed to fight climate change, and to move our economy towards a greener, truly sustainable future. On both fronts, we need to fix the system – and that starts with local efforts.
Canada’s food banks work hard to get food to people who need it even in the best of times. And the COVID-19 pandemic is definitely not the best of times. Canada is seeing its worst economic crisis in generations. More than a million people lost their jobs in March alone, affecting 40% of households in the country. Food banks are on the front line, helping to ensure people in their communities get the food they need.
On April 17th at 11:00 a.m. please take time to stand silently in your workplace for the cleaner who died of COVID-19 at William Osler Health Centre, the 1000 Ontario health care workers who currently have COVID-19, and all the people we care for.
What is your situation? I am an employee with COVID-19 and/or in isolation: Your employer may have a short-term disability or sick leave program that you need to apply for before applying for EI sickness benefits or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). Check your collective agreement or contact your CUPE local. If you have at least $5,000 in earnings from self-employment, employment, or EI/QPIP maternity, parental or adoption benefits in 2019 or the past 12 months, the federal government is providing the CERB.
Ontario health care workers aren’t receiving the personal protective equipment (PPE), training, and frank communication from the provincial government that they need to safely care for COVID-19 patients. This is unfair. And it puts them in harm’s way. At a moment when we are asking nurses, personal support workers, cleaners and other health care workers to step up and protect people, we must be able to protect them as well.
TORONTO, ON – On Saturday, after Ontario Minister of Health Christine Elliot announced that personal protective equipment (PPE) it was readily available, 87 per cent of health care staff polled by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) reported that they do not have access to the PPE they need to deal with COVID-19 patients. Of the 3000-health staff who responded to questions, 91 per cent said they feel abandoned by the provincial government.
Release more N95 masks, other protections before it’s too late to curb spread TORONTO, ON – The fight against the spread of COVID-19 hinges on Ontario hospital and long-term care, home care workers and paramedics not contracting the virus in large numbers, so that they can care for the sick across the province. But already dozens of health care staff have COVID-19. This includes one who is very ill with the virus contracted at a home where residents have died from coronavirus.
The Emergency Care Benefit and the Emergency Support Benefit have been merged into the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB). The CERB has also been better integrated with Employment Insurance to allow workers to apply for benefits through a single window. Who is covered by the Canada Emergency Response Benefit? This new benefit will cover people who have lost their job, people who are sick or quarantined, and parents who must stay home without pay to care for children, the same as the two previously announced benefits.
Who Has an Increased Risk? There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians who are exposed to COVID-19 who: are aged 65 and over have compromised immune systems have underlying medical conditions Identified underlying medical conditions said to heighten the risk among patients are: Heart disease Lung disease Diabetes High blood pressure Cancer conditions that weaken the immune system, include: Patients undergoing treatments for cancer Patients undergoing treatments for autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS) and inflammatory bowel diseases Patients with HIV Anyone who has had an organ or bone marrow transplants Although Pregnant women have not been identified as having an immune compromising medical condition as of today’s date: March 20, 2020, if you are pregnant, or believe you may be pregnant please note: