Another GTA hospital opts to provide former non-union employees retro pay after nurses speak out
Published Wednesday, September 27, 2023 10:04AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 27, 2023 10:04AM EDT
A GTA hospital says it will now pay former non-union staff members retro payments for time worked during the pandemic after informing some former employees that they would not be eligible for compensation.
In a memo to staff, Oak Valley Health, which operates Markham Stouffville Hospital, said the decision has now been made to provide all non-union staff members, past and present, with extra compensation for time worked when Bill 124 was in effect.
In recent months, retro payments have gone out to staff at hospitals across the province after it was ruled that the bill, which capped wage increases for many public sector employees at one per cent per year over a three-year period, was unconstitutional.
Arbitrated settlements have been reached with various unions representing hospital workers, which has resulted in current and former employees seeing thousands of dollars in back pay for time worked for the years that the bill was in effect.
Compensation for non-union employees is at the discretion of individual hospitals.
Two former registered nurses at Markham Stouffville Hospital recently spoke to CP24.com and said that Oak Valley Health told them in July that they would not be eligible for the retro payments based on the fact that they no longer work at the facility.
“It is not even so much about the money. The money counts but it is that we worked really hard over the pandemic and we sacrificed a lot over the pandemic. Many of my colleagues have left the profession altogether because of what they have gone through,” one of the former nurses, Katherine Gilbert, said earlier this month.
In a memo sent to staff on Tuesday, Oak Valley confirmed that the decision has now been made to pay former non-union employees.
“Oak Valley Health has determined that all former non-union staff and management staff (excluding executives and individuals who were terminated) who worked during the moderation period, will also receive retroactive payments,” the letter read.
“Not all Ontario hospitals are providing these retroactive payments to current and former non-union employees, but we believe it is the right thing to do.”
Former employees, the letter stated, can expect to receive the payment on Dec. 6.
In a statement sent to CP24.com, Oak Valley said the decision was made after “calculating and working through the payments for our current staff.”
“Former staff are in the process of being notified via mailed letter to their last known address,” the statement continued.
Oak Valley said any former employees who previously inquired about the payment will receive an update via email.
Earlier this month, SickKids Hospital also reversed its decision to deny retro payments to former staff members after former nurses spoke out against the policy.