The government of Ontario is asking education workers to voluntarily help fill staffing shortages in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. That includes at hospitals, long term care homes, shelters and other congregate facilities.
Premier Doug Ford has said Ontario’s health care workers are the real heroes in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, but they need help. The call is going out to education workers, not involved in online learning activities, to step up.
Education minister Stephen Lecce said a deal was reached in partnership with teachers federations and school boards for a framework to voluntarily redeploy staff within the education sector to help Ontario’s most vulnerable.
"Voluntarily redeploying staff from our schools into long-term care homes and seniors homes, women’s shelter abuse centers. Available positions could include custodial or maintenance roles, children and youth service workers, social workers and educational assistants, among others. And we’re asking them to consider knowing that they w ill be fully trained, that they’ll be provided with PPE, and that they will continue to maintain their employment relationship with the school board,” Lecce said.
Lecce said all volunteers will also be eligible for temporary pandemic pay and emergency child care. Ford said the response has been overwhelming with school boards, trustee associations and trade unions agreeing to redeploy education workers who want to volunteer.
Those who do volunteer will also be able to terminate their redeployment at any time.