Statement Calling for Essential Workers Program

As Nova Scotia and the world battles through the largest wave of COVID-19 yet, those who work in our health care system, schools and government services continue to carry out their duties and risk exposure to themselves and their families.

Case counts and hospitalizations have risen to the highest weekly numbers seen in the pandemic. During the first wave, governments and private companies recognized the risk taken by workers who kept our essential services operating. While the “pandemic bonus” in Nova Scotia was far from perfect – and in fact left many deserving workers out – it was at the very least a gesture of appreciation for many frontline workers who were sacrificing so much.

Here we are now, with so many new infections occurring that government has essentially stopped counting, and they are offering nothing but platitudes to workers to motivate them to push us all through this enormous wave. While some restrictions are in place, in many ways government seems to be advocating a “business as usual” approach while leaving essential workers in the lurch with no recognition.

The previous government missed the mark with their Essential Health Care Workers Program. The NSGEU is now calling upon Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Tim Houston to establish an essential worker program that will recognize the extraordinary efforts being put forth by workers throughout all of our public services.

Essential workers everywhere deserve financial compensation for their extraordinary efforts all essential workers are providing in dealing with Omicron.

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