Nurses getting a premium wage for working during the COVID-19 pandemic. What about the rest of the health care team?

The “working short” premium, negotiated for nurses in the last round of bargaining, has been reworked in a deal between the BC Nurses Union and the employer to pay nurses a premium during the COVID-19 pandemic at least through to the end of April, if not longer. 

The working short premium was intended to be a penalty on employers who did not have enough nurses on shift as needed. The intent was for employers to address staffing shortages within a year, and to apply the wage premium only in cases where they were unable to provide appropriate staffing.

The deal effective tomorrow pays a premium to all nurses working in direct patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether they are fully staffed or not. 

This is unfair treatment of other members of the health care team who are putting their lives on the line during the pandemic – including respiratory therapists and many other specialized health science professionals who work directly with COVID-19 patients.

HSA has been fighting for the same respect to be shown for members of the health care team, and just this morning sent a letter to the CEO of Health Employers Association of BC Michael McMillan pointing out the support being offered to members of the health care team in Quebec.

See the letter to HEABC here.

We are asking HSA members to tell HEABC and the government that you are critical members of the health care team and deserve to be treated with the same respect.

Send your emails to Michael McMillan, CEO of HEABC at @email and Health Minister Hon. Adrian Dix at