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Nurses to Receive Pandemic Pay

  • Bulletin; COVID-19; Health & Safety
Front-line workers to receive $4 per hour over 16-week period

BCNU members will receive temporary pandemic pay in a program fully funded by the BC and federal governments. The pay will support workers on the front lines in BC including those who deliver health services to people most vulnerable to COVID-19.


The compensation will be received as a lump-sum payment of about $4 per hour for a 16-week period, retroactive to March 15, 2020. There is no need for eligible workers to apply; the government will provide the funds to employers, who are then responsible for distributing the funds to eligible employees in the coming weeks as lump-sum payments. The timing and frequency of the lump-sum payments may vary between employers.


Health care worker roles that are eligible for temporary pandemic pay include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, registered psychiatric nurses working in hospitals, long-term care and assisted living facilities, provincial mental health facilities, provincially funded home and community care services, public health units, primary care clinics, diagnostic facilities, community clinics and diagnostic and treatment centers. A complete list of eligible roles and workplaces is here.

In order to receive the temporary pandemic pay, you must have worked straight-time hours at any point during the 16-week period starting on March 15, 2020. Casual and on-call workers who have worked straight-time hours during this period are also eligible.

Temporary pandemic pay is not dependent on whether there is a COVID-19 outbreak in the workplace location.

The following workers are not eligible: excluded management staff, fee-for-service providers or employees on leave.

Payment Expectations

The temporary pandemic pay is separate from the working short premium (WSP) that came into effect April 1, 2020, as per the terms of the Nurses' Bargaining Association (NBA) provincial collective agreement. 

Other important key points to note with regards to the process and application of the pandemic pay:

  • The pandemic pay is not a wage increase; workers should not expect the funds in every pay period.

  • The payment is taxable and will not impact eligibility for Employment Insurance (EI) or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB).

  • This payment does not apply to time where employees were not in the workplace due to vacation, any authorized paid leave, including sick leave.

  • BCNU will not be collecting dues on the lump sum payments.

For more information, visit BC's Temporary Pandemic Pay website.

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