Manitoba announces Caregiver Wage Support Program
Nov 27, 2020
Today the Manitoba government announced a new $35-million Caregiver Wage Support Program for front-line workers in long-term care and other settings.
The province, which is cost-sharing the program with the federal government, says it will be available to more than 20,000 Manitobans currently working full-time or part-time on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligible MGEU members include health care aides, recreation workers and housekeeping staff in long-term care; as well as staff at community agencies that provide social services to at-risk youth and families.
must apply for the top-up during two intake periods, which will close on
Dec 14, 2020 and Jan 18, 2021 respectively. The province says the online
application link should be available on December 7, 2020, but workers can be notified
of when the application process is open by filling out this form. For those whose
application is accepted, the
program benefit will be paid directly to them by the Manitoba government in the
week after each intake period closes.
“We’ve been pushing for additional recognition for health care workers for months now,” said MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “I’m very pleased that this has finally come through.”
Program does not recognize all workers
While this new program is important, Gawronsky worries about those who may not have been included.
“I’m concerned about the classifications which may have been overlooked,” said Gawronsky. “We were not consulted about who will be included and we will be taking this up with the government right away. It takes everyone right now – those on the frontlines and behind the scenes in a wide variety of services – to keep the system going, and all should be recognized.”
She also says that this program, and others like it, are no substitute for fair collective bargaining.
“Most public sector workers who have been working through the pandemic are working under expired contracts and have not had a wage increase in years. The province needs to get back to the bargaining table and deal fairly with public workers.”
Information about the Caregiver Wage Support Program, including all details about registration, can be found at https://manitoba.ca/covid19/programs/caregiver-wage-support.html.