Toronto hospital employee says she feels the sacrifices she and her colleagues have made during the pandemic aren’t being valued after learning some of them have to give back the pandemic pay they were issued. The University Health Network (UHN) says about 200 physician secretaries and administrative assistants were „inadvertently” given pandemic pay ranging from $100 to $1,500 and averaging $700. The network has asked all affected employees to pay back the money.
CBC Toronto spoke with one UHN secretary who says the issue has upset colleagues in her department, leading to low morale during an already stressful time during the pandemic. „It makes you feel that coming in [to the hospital] and putting everyone at risk close to you, hoping you don’t get it, it makes you feel worthless,” she said. CBC News has agreed not to identify the employee.
UHN apologized to employees for the error and the upset it has caused. In a statement from spokesperson Gillian Howard, the health network says in an effort to ease the burden, employees will have up to March 31, 2021, to repay the money. Howard says the approximately 200 physician secretaries and administrative assistants were never supposed to receive the money because they are not eligible under provincial guidelines.