Pandemic pay premium has not flowed to workers, Ontario government says


TORONTO — Ontario says it has not yet paid approximately 375,000 frontline health-care workers a promised pandemic pay premium.

A spokeswoman for the province’s health minister says the initiative is the largest of its kind in Canada and the funding will flow in “very short order.”

The government says it has provided written funding commitments to employers, and that will be followed by the flow of money.

Premier Doug Ford announced the premium in late April, calling it a way of recognizing the sacrifices essential workers make as they fight the spread of COVID-19.

It included a $4 hourly raise over the next four months and a monthly bonus of $250 if they work more than 100 hours in a month.

But unions representing hospital workers have said not everyone in the facilities are included, leading to low morale.