An arm being vaccinatedThe Conseil provincial des affaires sociales (CPAS) and the Syndicat québécois des employées et employés de service (SQEES) are condemning the unfair practice of giving bonuses to temporary staff, hired through Quebec’s “Je contribue” program, but not to regular staff.

In fact, the latest ministerial order (2021-032) has put in place an escalating bonus scale for temporary staff who are giving out vaccines, starting at $15 per day and going up to $90.

“Management tells us that our members are already entitled to standby pay. In reality, a lot of our members who are off-duty for vaccination activities are not covered by these premiums. These include office staff and professionals like social workers. In addition, temporary staff are also entitled to environment and availability bonuses. We should get equal pay for equal work,” explains Frédéric Brisson, president of the CPAS.

“We are not against bonuses for temporary people, but we are asking for equal treatment. Everyone is working hard during COVID-19 and to roll out vaccines. It’s wrong that some workers are not recognized for their efforts. Do the regular staff, who have been carrying the health and social services network for years, deserve less recognition than those who come in as reinforcements? It makes no sense,” says Sylvie Nelson, president of the SQEES-FTQ.

The two unions also calling out the Ministry for not consulting with them or sending a copy of the order, which is the norm. “It feels like this was done on the sly and they tried to keep it quiet. An additional bonus should be big news! One could almost think the government knew it would not go over well with regular staff,” conclude Mr Brisson and Ms Nelson.