Thanks to all of you who have added your voice to our fight and written to MAHCP and/or your elected officials in recent weeks, Premier Pallister finally announced the following today:
“The Manitoba government will now compensate health-care workers who are required to self-isolate for 14 days due to possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace… The Manitoba government will provide health-care staff paid administrative leave for the full 14-day period of asymptomatic self-isolation. Should a worker become symptomatic during self-isolation, the individual will be compensated by sick leave benefits, pursuant to their collective agreement.”
The full government press release is available here: https://news.gov.mb.ca/news/index.html?item=47520&posted=2020-04-14
We are still waiting for all the details, but it’s clear they are starting to listen to the concerns MAHCP and our members have been raising for weeks. It wasn’t fair to make you finance your own self-isolation with sick time or vacation when you are willing and able to work. They’re finally stepping up and doing the right thing by providing paid leave for those who are otherwise healthy but have to self-isolate. We have confirmed this new policy will apply retroactively back to March 1, 2020.
This is the beginning of our fight, not the end. MAHCP continues to push the government to provide presumptive workers compensation coverage for any health care worker who contracts COVID-19. You’re at risk because of what you do – putting your own safety on the line to care for Manitobans. If you test positive for COVID-19, they should assume you got it at work and cover you accordingly. We know how WCB normally operates, and that’s not good enough. The burden of proof shouldn’t be on you for COVID-19 exposure during this unprecedented crisis.
We have not forgotten about the Employer’s responsibility to provide appropriate PPE. We haven’t forgotten about members who have child-care issues. We haven’t forgotten about you.
I want to thank you again for joining MAHCP in this fight. Please stay tuned for further updates and ways you can get involved, and do continue to keep us informed on what you’re experiencing on the front line. We’re in this for you, but we can’t do it without you.
Bob Moroz, MAHCP President