Pandemic Pay for Unifor Health Care Workers

Q&A: Premier Ford and Pandemic Pay – Please click the file below to view

Additionally, follow the web link below to Unifor National page for more infomation

Ontario Health coalition - Call to Action

Dear members & supporters,

After what we have seen in the last sixteen months, on a very personal level, I can’t let this happen without doing everything in my power to stop it. If you don’t mind, I thought I’d share a few thoughts with you.

Quietly the Doug Ford government is proposing to give new 30-year licenses [] and even expansions for thousands of for-profit long-term care beds []. Included among these are thousands of beds owned by the for-profit chains with the worst records for neglect, poor care, abysmal management. These corporations are responsible for the deaths of thousands of the residents whom they were entrusted to protect and care for in the last sixteen months, many of their deaths preventable.

Orchard Villa is located in a leafy suburb in Pickering. It is a for-profit LTC home owned by chain company Southbridge Care Homes. Southbridge doesn’t actually operate its LTC facilities. It owns the licenses and takes profit, but it contracts out the operations of the homes to another for-profit corporation to run. Two sets of for-profits make profits out of the public funding and residents’ fees. While the for-profits in general have far worse pandemic death rates, Southbridge has the worst, according to an analysis [] by the Toronto Star.

Orchard Villa’s verdant surroundings betray no sign of the hair-raising suffering that has happened behind the walls of the home. Last spring, 206 residents out of 233 contracted COVID-19 along with more than 100 staff []. Seventy-one residents died as a result of the virus. Others died of malnutrition and dehydration. The Canadian Forces described [] the condition in which they found residents: left in in soiled, cockroaches and flies, the smell of rotten food, understaffing, poor training, inadequate medical supplies, locked supply cabinets, staff who had been brought in by that point from agencies and the hospital not oriented, unable to access supplies they needed, unable to document.  Residents were put on mattresses on the floor to prevent them from standing up and walking or had their walkers taken away, or left on bare mattresses without linens. Food and important belongings were left out of residents’ reach. Hydration schedules were not followed, medication errors were documented and infection control protocols were not upheld.

Families testified [] before the COVID-19 Long-Term Care Commission describing dire understaffing and poor management conditions that predated the pandemic by years, resulting in extreme weight loss, bed sores, infections and other harm. The families did not blame individual staff. They describe dangerously low levels of staffing that were chronic. In the pandemic families who were shut out of the home described phoning repeatedly but there was not enough staff to answer. One family, unable to get through by phone, watched through the window as their mother with COVID-19 vomited in her room with no staff around. They had to bang on the window until they could get staff to come and give their mother water. She died days later.

Eventually — terribly belatedly — the local hospital took over the management of the home from Extendicare, the company that Southbridge had contracted to run the facility. Residents who had survived until then were finally transported out to hospital where they were found to be severely dehydrated, anorexic from malnutrition, some in kidney failure. A hospital spokesperson reported [] that the home had dropped to 20% of a full staffing complement.

Orchard Villa’s for-profit long-term care operator was never fined. It never lost its license. There has been no accountability for the unspeakable suffering of the residents and their families.

Quite the opposite. Last fall, in fact, the Ford government passed a law shielding Orchard Villa and the other for-profit long-term care home operators that were facing lawsuits for negligence, wiping out the claims of families who had lost their loved ones. The families had to start again and file suits for gross negligence which has a higher burden of proof.

Southbridge’s license for Orchard Villa is coming to an end. Now, to add insult to injury, the Ford government is proposing to give it a new 30-year license. Not only that, but also an 87-bed expansion.

Suffering and death on the scale that we saw at Orchard Villa requires an unmitigated “never again”. What happened at Orchard Villa should never have been allowed to happen. But since it did, it should have resulted in a reckoning – real change and real accountability. Instead, the owners are being rewarded.

The lives of the elderly cannot be treated as disposable. Profit and greed cannot be allowed to trump fundamental human rights and the duty to care and compassion.

We can and must stop these plans. If we do not, what kind of a society are we?

For all our members and supporters, our heartfelt thank you for your care and your compassion for the residents, their families and the workers. 

Let’s all do everything we can do to stop the Ford government from saddling Ontarians with another generation of for-profit long-term care. We will still need to fight to improve standards and care, but currently the power of the for-profits that oppose minimum staffing standards, regulation to protect care levels, annual surprise inspections and enforcement, has proven impossible to overcome. 

We have this opportunity now to stop them. Let’s never look back at this time and think there was more we could have done.

With warm regards,

Natalie Mehra

Executive Director


  • JOIN US TODAY AT NOON if possible: 1955 Valley Farm Road, Pickering, outside Orchard Villa
  • JOIN THE GOVERNMENT’S TELECONFERENCE CONSULTATION. The Ministry is required to do a public consultation when considering a new license. We are asking as many people as possible to join that call and tell them how much Ontarians oppose this plan. The call is at 11 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday July 15. Dial 1-855-340-5809 Passcode: 2400102#

We are proud of the difference we make and we hope you are too. This work is only made possible by people who care like you. Please do become a member or donate. It matters!

If you can, please CLICK HERE [] to donate or become a member.

Ontario Health Coalition

15 Gervais Drive, Suite 201

Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8

Facebook []

Twitter []

Instagram [] []


Up to three (3) Memorial Bursaries in the amount of $1,000.00 which will be awarded to a child of a UNIFOR Local 27 member entering the first year of a full-time course of study, leading to a diploma, certificate or degree from any recognized Canadian College or University.

The Bursaries are being offered by UNIFOR Local 27 in the memory of Jim Ashton, past President of our Local, President of the London District Labour Council and a CAW National Executive Board Member.

 Applicants for the Bursaries are required to write a 1,000, word paper on the following topic:


 In what specific way do you think Unifor has had a positive impact on workers and their communities and how relevant (or not) are Unions in your life?




UNIFOR National Union & Regional Council Scholarships

Twenty-three (23) scholarships valued at $2,000.00 each will be awarded to sons/daughters of Unifor members in good standing. 

Eligible students must be entering their first year of full time post secondary education (university, community college, technological institute, trades school, etc.) in a public Canadian institution.

A committee appointed by the Unifor National Executive Board will make the selection of candidates.


Applications are available : follow Link below

Retired Worker Council Call letter September 2021


The Council will be held virtually beginning onTuesday, September 7, 2021 to Thursday, September 9, 2021.

This will be our first Retired Workers Council to be held entirely online, and we are excited to welcome you to what we

know will be exciting discussions and events during this time. The entire Council will take place on the
Zoom virtual platform but do not worry, we will be including many breaks into the schedule to ensure a reasonable amount of virtual meeting time.

Included with this package, you will find the Council registration forms, which must be completed for all delegates, be sure to include the personal email address for each delegate. Once the department has received the registration, the delegate will receive an email from Sagal Dirié with further information.

To obtain your package email:

All registrations must be received by August 20, 2021, to allow time for Council materials to be sent. Any registrations received after the cutoff date will only receive the materials electronically.

Also included with this package is Notice of Motion for proposed by-law amendments to be debated and voted on at the 2021 Council.

For voting purposes, all participants must register as either delegates or observers of their specific Chapter or Area Council.

Only elected delegates will be eligible to vote at the Retired Workers Council.

There will be no registration fee for the Retired Workers Council and local chapters and Area Councils are encouraged to spread the word among members. Let’s use this opportunity to open the doors of our council
to new delegates who can’t normally travel to our events!
Jerry Dias
National President
Barba M. Dolan
Director, Retired Workers Department


As we grapple with the discovery of the remains of 215 Indigenous children in an unmarked grave on the site of a former residential school in Kamploops BC and struggle with the horror of the recent terror attack on a Muslim family here in London, Ontario — we know that the dialogue against hate, racism, Islamophobia and all forms of discrimination must never stop! We all have a role to play to #DeleteRacism. CCMW’s, Canadian Council of Muslim Women Digital Anti Racism Education 2 Workshops, funded by the Government of Canada, are an excellent way to engage in this important conversation. 

The workshops are in English & French and aimed at empowering communities across Canada with bilingual training and tools on:

  • How Islamophobia further marginalizes Black Muslims, Indigenous Muslims, 2SLGBTQI+ Muslims and Muslims with disabilities.
  • Understanding cyberhate and online extremism to effectively counter online hate speech and narratives effectively.

About the workshops:

Anti-Islamophobia 1O1: The 3.5-hour virtual workshop seeks to address the realities of Islamophobia and the way in which it operates within Canadian society and will be presented, with engaging videos & break-out sessions, by Amira Elghawaby, renowned journalist and human rights advocate. (

Countering Cyberhate 1O1 Virtual Workshop: The 3-hour virtual workshop aims to help participants better understand online hate speech and extremism, with interactive tools alongside engaging breakout sessions, led by Dr. Barbara Perry, Professor Director, Centre of Hate, Bias & Extremism, Ontario Tech University. Click here For more information on Dr. Perry.

Participants need to attend a virtual Anti-Islamophobia 101 Workshop & Countering Cyberhate 101 Workshop in order to receive a certificate in Digital Anti-Racism Education.   

It is recommended that participants take the broader Anti-Racism 1O1 training before participating in the first workshop. The Anti-Racism 1O1 e-learning module can be found on:

For workshop schedule, CLICK HERE

To register for upcoming workshops, CLICK HERE

Please email: if you have any questions or concerns. Register for a workshop today and help #DeleteRacism!


Firdaus Ali (Pronouns: She/Her)Project Manager, D.A.R.E. 2 (Digital Anti-Racism Education) Project


Website: I

Our Condolences to the Afzaal’s family from Unifor

 It is indeed a very tough time for the Canadian Muslim community as we grapple with increasing Islamophobia and hate crimes against our community. However, we find comfort and solace in the community support that we continue to witness. This incident and many others against our minority communities, make our anti-racism work more important now than ever before.

CCMW, Canadian Council of Muslim Women is hosting a national virtual vigil this Sunday in solidarity with the London family. Hoping you can share this with your networks and Unifor family.

 The Digital Anti-Racism Education 2 (D.A.R.E.2) Project funded by the Government of Canada at CCMW and as part of the project we are hosting anti-Islamophobia & Countering Cyberhate workshops in June and July. The workshops are virtual via Zoom and participants could greatly benefit from the interactive learnings. Participants attending the workshops would also receive a certificate in Digital Anti-Racism Education from CCMW. Follow the Link below or you could simply copy/paste and forward to your networks. More information about the project can be found at:

For a complete List of Canadian Council of Muslim Women Calendar of events, follow the Link below;

Unifor mourns the loss of the 215 children found on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory who perished in the custody of the Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The discovery confirms what community survivors have said for decades—hundreds of children went to the school and never returned home. This is true of at least 6,000 Indigenous children who attended residential schools across the country.

The mass grave is a horrific reminder of the scale of the colonial violence that still haunts survivors and their families today.

Canada is far from done reconciling its murderous history of residential schools. Reconciliation is important for being accountable to both Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and all communities and families that are affected.

Unifor supports the call of Indigenous leaders for a nationwide probe of former residential school sites. The federal government must ensure Indigenous communities have the resources to find answers about missing children as outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s “Missing Children’s Project”.

Unifor understands that solidarity is the key to truth and reconciliation with First Nations, Inuit and Metis people in Canada. Unifor is committed to using its bargaining power, mobilizing power, and political power to bring about transformative change.

What Unifor members can do:

  1. Unifor supports the 94 recommendations issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. They are an urgent call to action for government and organizations to take meaningful action on a many outstanding issues, ranging from protecting language and culture to education to ensuring justice for the victims of residential school violence.
    Contact your Member of Parliament and demand they be a vocal supporter of the 94 Calls to Action within their caucus and to government.
  2. Add to Unifor’s $10,000 donation to the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation to build community solidarity and support:

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc
200-330 Chief Alex Thomas Way
Kamloops BC, V2H 1H1

  1. Add to Unifor’s existing sponsorship of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) “Honouring the Gifts—MKO Youth Cultural Celebration” youth arts festival beginning June 21 (National Indigenous Peoples Day) and carrying through to June 25.
  2. Donate to the Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
  3. Participate in Indigenous History Month, which starts Tuesday. Unifor is coordinating action and activities across the country to fight for truth and reconciliation. Visit org/ihm2021 to find out more.
  4. Learn more by participating in Unifor’s Turtle Island webinar series. Next session: “Honouring Treaty Rights” Tuesday, June 1, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.
  5. Encourage support, by those who are able to, for local and regional organizations, programs or initiatives to engage in active reconciliation with Indigenous people.
  6. With all of your efforts, please amplify Indigenous voices in your community.

Whichever action you take, please share your work with the National Office and on social media so others can follow our example to do their part in reconciliation.

View the statement on our website here.


Frequently asked questions (faq) on ontario covid-19 worker income protection benefit

Due to the rapidly changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19 and its impact on workers, program support
criteria are subject to change. Be sure to visit to download updated versions of this
fact sheet.

Note: On February 19, 2021, the federal government announced proposed legislative and regulatory
changes that would increase the number of weeks of benefits available for the Canada Recovery Benefit

(CRB), the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits

On April 29, 2021, the Government of Ontario passed legislation mandating that employers provide
employees with paid sick leave under the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit. The program
entitles workers to take up to three days of paid sick leave at up to $200 per day in wages, if they are:

going for a COVID-19 test or staying home awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test

sick with COVID-19

advised to self-isolate due to COVID-19 by an employer, medical practitioner or other authority

going to get vaccinated or recovering from vaccination side-effect

taking care of a dependent who is:

sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19

self-isolating due to COVID-19

getting vaccinated or recovering from vaccination side-effect

These temporary measures, referred to as ‘infectious disease emergency leave pay’, will be retroactive to April
19, 2021 and will end on September 25, 2021.

This FAQ document aims to provide Unifor members with the most up to date answers we have on frequently
asked questions about Ontario’s temporary paid sick leave measures.

If I already have paid sick leave as part of my current collective agreement or employment contract, will I
get an additional three days of paid sick days?

No, you will be topped up to three days of paid sick leave if you have one or two days of paid sick leave under
your current employment contract. Any workers who already have three or more days of paid sick leave will
not be covered by the new paid sick leave measures.

What if I have to take more than three days of sick leave? Can I continue to take sick leave for as long as I
am ill or for other reasons related to COVID-19?

Yes, employees are currently entitled to take unpaid sick leave under Ontario’s infectious disease emergency
leave measures, which allows workers to take unpaid sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19 without fear
of reprisal or dismissal by their employers.

If I take unpaid sick leave after my three days of paid sick leave, can I apply for compensation through the
Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)?

Only if the unpaid sick days fall within a one-week period during which you received no paid sick days.
Unfortunately, the current CRSB rules do not allow you to apply for the CRSB for days that fall within a week
when you received paid leave from your employer.
For example, if you were ill all week and took paid sick leave from Monday to Wednesday, you would not be
eligible to be compensated through the CRSB for any unpaid leave taken on Thursday and Friday. Any days of
unpaid sick leave taken the following week would be eligible for the CRSB.

Will I need a sick note to prove to my employer that I was absent for reasons related to COVID-19?

Employers cannot ask you for a sick note or medical certificate from a nurse or doctor to prove that you were
eligible for sick leave (whether paid or unpaid), but may require you to provide ‘evidence reasonable in the
circumstances’, which is determined on a case-by-case basis. Examples include a printout or screenshot of
information issued by a public health official advising quarantine/self-isolation or a copy of an order to self

For more information, please refer to the province’s infectious disease emergency leave information.

What if I take a few hours off from work to get vaccinated? Will my paid sick leave only apply to the hours I
am absent from work?

Under the paid sick leave legislation, taking part of a day counts as taking a full day of leave. In other words, if
you only take a few hours from work for vaccination or any other COVID-19 related reason, you are considered
to have taken a full paid day of sick leave.

I make less than $200 a day. What will my employer pay me if I take sick days under these new measures?

If you make less than $200 a day, you will be paid your regular wages for the day, not including any overtime
that would have otherwise been paid.

I make more than $200 a day. Is my employer required to pay me my full wages for the day if I take sick
leave under these new measures?

No, employers are only obligated to pay up to $200 per day for any days of sick leave taken under the new

 Your employer may elect to pay you more, but the maximum amount they can be reimbursed by
the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) is $200 per day.

I earn part of my pay from tips and/or commissions. Will the paid sick leave measures cover what I usually
earn from these sources?

No, the paid sick leave measures will only cover your base wages.

I work as a freelancer and/or independent contractor. Am I covered by this new program?

No, the legislation implementing the program only applies to individuals defined as ‘employees’ under
Ontario’s Employment Standards Act (ESA), which does not include independent contractors or freelancers.
However, as a freelancer or independent contractor, you are eligible to apply for the Canada Recovery Sickness
Benefit (CRSB).

If I took unpaid sick leave on or after April 19, 2021 for reasons related to COVID-19, but before the
legislation was enacted on April 29, am I still eligible for the three days of paid sick leave?

Yes, but you must inform your employer in writing by May 13, 2021 that you intend to take those days as paid
sick leave.

What if I am called in for a shift at the last minute but cannot work for reasons related to COVID-19? Will I
be eligible for paid sick leave?

If you were scheduled by the employer for a shift and were then unavailable to work due to reasons related to
COVID-19, yes, you are eligible. If the employer simply called you to see if you were available to work that day,
no, you are not eligible for paid sick leave.

How much notice am I required to give my employer in order to take paid sick leave? For example, am
I eligible for paid sick leave if I elect to attend a pop-up vaccination clinic that is announced at the last

There is no requirement to give your employer a specific amount of notice to take paid sick leave under the
new measures. However, you must inform your employer that you are unavailable to work for COVID-19
related reasons as soon as you can.

Who can I contact for more information?

You can call the designated Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit Information Centre at

For more COVID-19 related worker support information, visit
Prepared by Unifor


Unifor Ontario Regional Council Thanks Essential Workers


A year ago, when our lives and jobs suddenly changed, we were inspired by just how quickly workers banded together to support one another, and keep each other safe.

Your Ontario Regional Council executive is grateful for the essential workers who are carrying us through this pandemic. We think this appreciation should be shared with all members and with workers across the province, union or non-union.

That’s why today, we’re launching a new video that spreads that message, and we want you to see it first.

Watch on Facebook.       Watch on Twitter.           Watch on YouTube.

After watching, share this video with an essential worker in your life to show your appreciation for their work.

Your union is working hard to maintain up-to-date information on COVID-19 including public health efforts, health and safety, and income supports. Visit the Unifor COVID-19 Information and Resources page to stay informed.

As we enter yet another province-wide lockdown, your union is still keeping our foot on the gas and holding the Ford’s conservatives to account.

The fact is that the Ontario Government can and must do more to keep workers and our families safe.

The burden and harm of this pandemic is not being felt evenly, as some sectors remain decimated and shuttered, and as essential workers face workplace spread of the virus and new, more deadly, variants.

We are grateful for all essential workers, and that is why we fight for a ramped-up vaccine distribution, stronger workplace protections, and paid sick days for all workers.

You can add your name to the call for paid sick days as well. Please sign the petition today.

So once again, to Ontario’s essential workers, thank you. Unifor will continue to fight for you.


In solidarity,

Naureen Rizvi, Ontario Regional Director
Scott McILmoyle, Chairperson
Tullio DiPonti, Secretary-Treasurer
Tim McKinnon, Member at Large
James Stewart, Member at Large
Debbie Montgomery, Member at Large
Jamie Martinez, Member at Large
Jim Fling, Member at Large
Lisa Tucker, Member at Large
Carleen Finch, Member at Large

 Ontario Regional Council Executive


Unifor Local 27 Does not have a Facebook Page. All Facebook pages that reference Unifor Local 27 are private pages and the Content & Comments  posted are not necessarily the opinions of Unifor Local 27 but rather of the individual administrators of those pages.

Notice for all Unifor Local 27 RPNs


It’s my pleasure to let you know that the Executive Board of Local 27 has approved a plan to reimburse Local 27 RPNs 10% off their membership into WeRPN (formerly RPNAO, Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario). This new initiative will begin with the new membership year for WeRPN that starts in July 2020.

We think this is an important initiative and encourage all RPNs to visit the WeRPN website at to look at what the membership has to offer nurses. This protection is available if you are involved with disputes or claims with CNO and require advise and representation which your employer or union may not be able to provide directly. One of the most important components of the Membership includes the professional liability protection insurance, with a $1,000,000 limit for each loss per nurse and $3,000,000 limit for all losses per year per nurse. It provides protection against malpractice claims arising from real or alleged errors or omissions, including negligence. As a member you are covered for the following: subpoenaed to appear before a legally constituted tribunal in Ontario; subpoenaed to appear as a witness in matters arising out of the Regulated Health Professional Act (1991) and any amending or superseding legislation; subpoenaed to appear as a witness in an incident relating to his/her profession of nursing; received a letter of complaint from the College of Nurses of Ontario as a result of a complaint, laid under Regulated Health Professions Act (1991) and any amending or superseding Legislation.

As your representatives we were shocked to learn that we would not be able to represent you if you had to appear before the Ontario College of Nurses should you be charged with any type of professional misconduct. Nursing as a profession is rewarding, we think it’s important that you look at becoming a member of WeRPN and want as a union to show our appreciation for the work that you do and provide you with this rebate to assist and enable you in your own practice.

Please fill out the form below to apply for your WeRPN 10% before tax rebate. Be sure to include a copy of your July 1st, 2020 to June 30th, 2021 membership receipt / transaction details.  Your rebate will be sent to you by mail, so please allow some time for processing – Your patience is much appreciated. Please note, this offer is only available to Unifor Local 27 RPNs.

In Solidarity,

Brian Chapman

President Local 27

*Important Note: If you have difficulty uploading your WeRPN membership receipt / transaction details through the below form, please send all required info & file to the following email address –

College of Nurses #
Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Please attach your WeRPN membership receipt / transaction details here. File size limit 32 MB. Files accepted .png / .gif / .jpg / .doc / .pdf

Mental Health Resources: We’re in this together

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19

As per the directive from our National Union, the Local 27 offices will be closed to the public until further notice.

If you require assistance please contact us by phone or email as listed below.

Brian Chapman, President:


                Phone: 519-455-3430 Ext 222

                Cell: 519-319-3657

Jim Wilkes, Financial Secretary:


                Phone: 519-455-3430 Ext 223

                Cell: 519-868-4066

Jim Kennedy, 1st Vice President:


                Phone: 519-455-3430 Ext 229

                Cell: 519-697-0360

 Tracy Holmes, VP Healthcare:


                Phone: 519-455-3430 ext 225


Upcoming events

Different Workplaces