July 8th, 2020

Mantha calls for pandemic pay for family-funded PSWs, paid sick days for long-term care workers

QUEEN’S PARK - Algoma-Manitoulin NDP MPP, Michael Mantha, took a local Personal Support Worker’s fight for pandemic pay straight to Doug Ford during question period on Wednesday, calling for health care and long term-care workers to be given paid sick days every year.

“One of my constituents, Nancy Riley from Blind River, has written to the premier hoping to get a reason why she didn’t receive the pandemic pay top-up,” said Mantha.

“Family-funded PSWs have to spend out of pocket to get the PPE they need, on top of having to travel from house to house, risking exposure to themselves and their patients.

“Why has this government excluded family-funded PSWs from pandemic pay?”

Mantha also called on the Ford government for paid sick days for frontline health care and long-term care workers when they need to self-isolate to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Ontario Public Health says that you must isolate yourself from others if you have COVID-19 symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus.

However, in Ontario today, long-term care workers voluntarily isolating are not eligible for paid leave.

“When someone believes they have been exposed to COVID-19, they need to self-isolate. They cannot put their colleagues and their patients at risk,” said Mantha.

“Will this government ensure that all workers, and most particularly health care and long-term care workers, be guaranteed to have paid sick days every year?”