Unions say health-care workers still struggling to get enough PPE

Unions say health-care workers still struggling to get enough PPE

Three major unions say health-care workers across Ontario still struggle to obtain personal protective equipment to shield them from COVID-19.

They’re calling on the province to do more to ensure the workers’ safety.

Unifor, the health-care arm of the Service Employees International Union and the Canadian Union of Public Employees also called for a “universal wage” of $25 an hour for all personal support workers regardless of what part of the provincial system they work in.

The unions are behind a campaign called “Respect Us. Protect Us. Pay Us” launched on March 8, which is International Women’s Day.

They say the health-care workforce, which is majority female, should have paid leave for COVID-19-related absences.

“This is a day for women and workers to stand up. They want safe work and they want fair pay and it’s not too much to ask for,” Katha Fortier, assistant to the national president of Unifor, told CBC Radio’s Windsor Morning

A spokeswoman for the health minister says the province has spent $1.1-billion on PPE and other supplies for health-care workers.

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