Front-line health workers deserve benefits and sick pay

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) President, Mike Parker, seeks to ensure health professionals are supported in their unprecedented effort to protect Albertans.

Edmonton — HSAA has sent an email to Alberta Health Services (AHS) President and CEO, Dr. Verna Yiu. The content of the email can be seen here.

“HSAA is requesting a meeting as soon as possible to resolve a situation that is putting front-line health workers and their families at financial risk,” said HSAA President, Mike Parker. “Some workers are not allowed to utilize their sick leave benefits when they are ordered to isolate.”

This situation is impacting non-permanent staff as well as permanent staff.

“Staff who have been exposed to COVID-19 and must self-isolate as a result of relocating to the Foothills Medical Centre to assist with the outbreak have been informed they will receive no access to sick leave entitlements because they are working away from their home base,” continued Parker. “We are told if they want to be compensated for the time, they have to use their vacation time and that is at their supervisor’s discretion.”

In his letter to Dr. Yiu, Parker said, “These are unique times that call for unique outside-box-solutions to the problems we are facing as we fight to bring this pandemic under control. We need to work together to resolve this situation as soon as possible.”

“These crucial workers are walking into high-risk, potentially life-threatening circumstances and the appropriate supports are not there for when they are taking required precautions. It is having a devastating effect on morale,” said Parker before stressing, “I am confident we can resolve this issue. But it can’t wait any longer.

“These critical workers not only are caring for Alberta’s sick, but also need to have the means to care for their own families at the same time. We have to do better by them.”

HSAA is 27,000 health-care professionals dedicated to protecting the public health system and the vulnerable Albertans who rely on it.

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Media Inquiries:
Kirk Heuser, HSAA Communications Officer
780-690-8199 |