Dear Sisters, Brothers and Members of OPSEU Local 500:
The Executive of the Local would like to start by thanking all of you across CAMH for your unwavering support and hard work on behalf of our clients during this challenging Pandemic time. The Local, OPSEU’s Executive Board and Mental Health & Addiction Division stand in solidarity with all members across the division in admiration and respect for all the incredible work you have done in the face of the worst pandemic many of us have known in our lifetimes. You are all the professionals who are the true heroes of this pandemic.
The Local recognizes that today’s E-Leader update on the Pandemic Pay from CAMH will be greeted with shock, anger and dismay for many members due to the exclusions that were highlighted around our members who will not be receiving pandemic pay. The final decision for which hospital workers are to receive Pandemic Pay was made by the Premier Doug Ford and Government of Ontario, not by CAMH or any individual hospital or health care organization.
The Local Executive and OPSEU as a whole are angered by the exclusion of any members of our Bargaining Unit. Since the Premier of the province announced payment the Pandemic Pay back in April, OPSEU, the Mental Health Division to which the Local belongs and the Local have been advocating for the Premier, the Minister of Health, the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and our own MPPs for all OPSEU members who have been client facing to receive Pandemic Pay.
I have been meeting with the employer almost daily since the state of emergency was declared back in March and have advocated for all of our members who have been client facing to receive Pandemic Pay for all hours worked. I have also reached out to the MPP for the riding I live in and have had email and verbal communications with her, and will continue to do so. Her name is Suze Morrison and she represents the NDP.
Below are a couple of articles from the OPSEU website about the advocacy that the larger Union has undertaken on behalf of all OPSEU members across the province.
CAMH has been supportive of all employees who have been working on site to receive Pandemic Pay, working with the other teaching hospitals, (a group which CAMH is a part of) as well as the Ontario Hospital Association as hospitals around the province are joining forces to continue to fight this arbitrary decision by the government.
I want to reassure all of you that neither I, the Local or OPSEU will not give up the fight for each and every health care worker to receive Pandemic Pay at CAMH and further afield as well.
The Local has received many emails in the last 24 hours asking what has and what is being done so that every member receives Pandemic Pay and what you all as individuals can do. I would encourage all of you to please take the time to reach out to your Local MPP to advocate for the rights of yourself and all your colleagues to receive the Pandemic Pay. Listed below is the link that indicates all local MPPs for the ridings in the GTA. In your emails, please copy the Premier – Doug Ford and the Minister of Health – Christine Elliott as well.
I would further encourage all of you whether or not you are receiving Pandemic Pay to reach out to your MPs at the federal Level as well. All monies that the province has been receiving have come from the Federal Government. I would encourage you to email your MP as well and include the Prime Minister – Justin Trudeau, the Minister of Finance – Bill Morneau and the Minister of Health – Patty Hadju.
In closing, I send you all my humblest and heartiest thanks for the work you have been doing and continue to do for our clients and each other for the last several months of this pandemic.