Yesterday’s announcement of temporary COVID-19 pandemic pay for health and social services workers sends a strong statement from the BC NDP government about the critical role these workers play in delivering in-person, front line care to some of B.C.’s most vulnerable people, says CUPE BC President Paul Faoro.

The new pandemic fund, announced by Minister of Finance Carole James, will provide a financial boost for more than 250,000 eligible front-line workers as part of a cost-shared program with the federal government. Temporary pandemic pay will support people working on the frontlines in B.C.’s health care system, social services, and corrections. This includes workers delivering a range of health and social services to people most vulnerable to COVID-19.

In B.C., CUPE represents more than 4,400 ambulance paramedics and emergency dispatchers, 2,300 community social services workers and 1,410 community health workers.

“Our front-line workers have been tireless in their efforts to keep all of us healthy and safe during this challenging time, and I’m very pleased to see this being recognized by the Horgan government,” said Faoro. “Our members in these sectors have shown extraordinary dedication and commitment to the people and communities they serve.

“Temporary pandemic pay acknowledges that commitment, but it’s also a special recognition of the dedicated services these workers provide for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. It recognizes that these workers keep our communities healthy and strong.”

Temporary pandemic pay is part of the BC NDP government’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan to provide relief to people, communities and businesses in British Columbia. For eligible workers, it amounts to a lump-sum payment of about $4 per hour for a 16-week period, starting on March 15th. Eligible workers will receive the payment directly through their employer and do not need to apply.

Learn More:

To learn more about the announcement of COVID-19 pandemic pay, visit:

To learn more about the supports and services available for people, businesses and communities through the pandemic, visit:

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For the Provincial Health Officer’s orders, notices and guidance, visit: