COVID-19 – Update Working Short and High Risk Premiums
April 5, 2020
Dear BCSRT members
Re: High Risk premiums and Working Short premiums
Since the COVID 19 pandemic began respiratory therapists have received some well-deserved recognition from the Ministry of Health, our healthcare colleagues and in the media. This recognition was not only for the critical care work respiratory therapists perform, but also the acknowledgement that respiratory therapists are the highest risk profession working with COVID 19 patients.
On March 31st 2020 the BC Nurses Union and the Health Employers Association of BC released a joint statement on the suspension of the direct patient care staffing process. We believe the intent was to resolve possible future short term staffing problems and avoid grievances from intensive care and emergency department nurses. When considering current hospital census levels and inclusion of all nurses, many respiratory therapists felt this was more of a high risk salary premium to some but not all COVID 19 healthcare providers.
On April 1st 2020 the BCSRT board of directors sent a letter to the Health Minister Honorable Adrian Dix reviewing how respiratory therapists are involved with the most critical COVID 19 patients and are placed at the head of the bed for the highest risk aerosol generating medical procedures. We also explained how many of you felt unrecognized after the joint statement was released.
At this time we still have not received a reply from the Honorable Adrian Dix. We will continue to advocate on your behalf and will send updates as we receive more information.
British Columbia Society of Respiratory Therapists Board of Directors
Mike MacAulay, President Alexa McMillan, Director of Student Relations
Tina Hsu, Director of Education Danielle McDonagh, Director of Community
Sapan Behar Director of Finance Zac Hilberry, Director of Member Relations