OCHU/CUPE met March 4 with the Premier’s office and asked that any retention bonus be applied to all health care workers.
We asked that Bill 124 be repealed and that we be allowed to bargain real wage increases and benefit and premium improvements for the nurses and other health care workers that we represent.
CUPE’s wage demand for RPNs, for example is $4.00 an hour on the base rates. The base rates are used to calculate overtime and pensions. A one-time payment is not pensionable and doesn’t apply for overtime. We asked the Premier that we be allowed to bargain wages.
We received no commitments on these issues. The government’s slides are included below.
Who is eligible?
You must be a practicing nurse on March 31, 2022 for the first payment, and September 1, 2022 for the second payment.
All Registered Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Nurse Practitioners working in hospitals, long term care, homecare, telehealth, community health and private retirement homes are covered.
To be eligible for the first payment. you must have worked (or be on a paid leave of absence) from February 13-March 19, 2022.
To be eligible for the second payment. you must have worked (or be on a paid leave of absence) from March 20-April 22 and be working on September 1, 2022.
How much is the payment and how is it calculated?
There will be two payments of $2500 if you work full-time hours during the eligibility periods and remain in employment as a practicing nurse. The first payment is in April/May. The second is in September.
For part-time and casual staff, the incentive will be applied as a supplementary hourly rate of $13.56 per hour, for all hours worked to a maximum of 375 hours from February 13 to April 22. The first payment is related to the hours worked between February 13 and March 19, 2022, to a maximum of 187.5 hours or $2500. The second payment relates to the hours worked between March 20 and April 22, 2022, to a maximum of 187.5 hours or $2500. Proration will not apply to hours worked in excluded areas.
What if I am not at work during the eligibility period?
Full-time workers who are on employer supported leaves such as pregnancy / maternity / parental / sick / bereavement leaves or other protected leaves under the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and have a planned return date are eligible.
For part-time and casual workers, who are on employer supported leaves such as pregnancy / maternity / parental / sick / bereavement leaves or other protected leaves under the Employment Standards Act, 2000. How the incentive is applied will depend on the entitlement under the collective bargaining agreement and how other bonuses may be treated.
Other types of paid leave (e.g., suspension on full pay etc.)
A nurse on other paid leave may receive the incentive at the discretion of the employer consistent with the applicable policies associated with the leave in question and or how other benefits associated with leave are treated.
Involuntary/Unpaid Leave (e.g., disciplinary leave, self-funded leave, long-term disability leave)
A nurse non-voluntary or unpaid leave :
- May not be ineligible to receive the incentive if the nurse did not work during the eligibility period or for any reason was not considered an employee on the eligibility dates (March 31 and September 1)
- May be eligible for the incentive (prorated or otherwise) if the nurse worked a part of the eligibility period and was considered employed on the applicable eligibility dates
Payments to Nurses for Assigned Shifts Unable to be Worked
If a nurse was scheduled to work during the eligibility period could not fulfill the scheduled shift (i.e., life events, illness or contracting COVID-19).
Full-time Nurses are entitled to the full payment provided that they remain employed as of the required payment dates and was operating in accordance with any policies or the collective agreement.
Part-time and casual staff:
- Shifts missed for reasons such as illness, isolation requirements, caregiving responsibilities or other life events that are employer supported reasons, can be included as part of any prorated payment.
- Refused shifts, shifts offered but not confirmed etc. cannot be included as part of any prorated payment.
What if I no longer work for the same employer, or have multiple employers?
If a nurse continues to be employed as a nurse they will continue to be eligible for the payments.
In these cases, the nurse would be paid by the employer with which the hours were worked, facilitated by a proof of employment provided by the secondary employer to the first employer.
When an Eligible Worker delivers services with multiple employers (eligible workplaces), the nurse should:
- Claim the eligible hours through each employer/organization for which they were working when they delivered a given service; and
- Provide an attestation to employers/organizations to whom they delivered services as Eligible Workers in Eligible Workplaces setting out the number of hours worked and for which they intend to claim the incentive
- Hours should not exceed the 187.5 hours in either period
What if I retire during the eligibility period?
A nurse that retires or leaves the workforce prior to March 31, 2022, cannot receive a payment through the Temporary Retention Incentive for Nurses, as a nurse must be in employment at the at time to receive the first of the two payments.
A nurse that retires or leaves the workforce prior to September 1, 2022, can only receive one payment through the incentive as a nurse must be in employment at that time to receive the second of the two payments.
This applies regardless of whether the nurse in question worked any part of the period between February 13 and April 22, 2022.
Who will pay me and when?
Your employer will pay you. The first payment is in April/May. The second is in September.