Ontario’s nurses are getting a lump sum retention incentive of up to $5,000 per person.
"This payment will help to retain nurses across the health sector and stabilize the current nursing workforce during this critical time to ensure patients continue to access the health care they need and deserve," says a government news release.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic nurses have stayed on the front lines with remarkable dedication and selflessness as they care for our sick and most vulnerable Ontarians, and we know that a strong nursing workforce is crucial to supporting the province’s recovery in the months and years ahead,” said Christine Elliott, Minister of Health.
Through the temporary retention payment for nurses, the government will provide a lump sum payment of up to $5,000 for eligible full-time nurses and a prorated payment of up to $5,000 for eligible part-time and casual nursing staff across the province. The payment will be paid by employers in two installments.
Nurses eligible to receive the payment include nurses in hospitals, long-term care, and retirement homes, home and community care, primary care, mental health and addictions, emergency services, and corrections, as well as a range of other community-based and developmental services including youth justice. Nurses in a management or supervisory role who were redeployed to a direct patient care role will qualify.
To receive the first payment, nurses must be employed as of March 31 and to receive the second payment nurses must be employed on September 1.
Steven Del Duca, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, isn't impressed.
A news release says he "is joining Nurses’ Unions in calling out Doug Ford’s last-ditch effort to buy their votes with a one-time bonus."
Del Duca says that if Ford was serious about supporting nurses, he shouldn’t have capped their pay with Bill 124.
“Doug Ford can’t spend years attacking nurses, capping their pay, and turning his back on them when things got tough, then expect a free pass by handing out a one-time cheque right before an election” stated Del Duca. “Failed Conservative leadership has left the nursing profession, including in-home care and long-term care, bleeding staff even as we continue to see glaring problems with hospital and long-term care capacity due to staffing shortages.”