Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Essential Everyday”?

Essential everyday is the central theme of our campaign and reinforces the fact that our healthcare members are essential before, during and after the pandemic and should be compensated accordingly.
For the purpose of this campaign an essential worker is someone who works in healthcare, providing care for people by maintaining facilities and providing care and the necessities of life.

Why are the United Steelworkers involved in this? What provinces are in District 3?

The United Steelworkers union represents over 50,000 healthcare workers. We represent many healthcare workers across Canada, including hundreds of workers across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba in District 3.

Who are health care workers in these provinces?

Our members are a diverse bunch. In the healthcare sector they tend to work in long-term care centres and in-home care. They tend to be women, and usually workers of colour. This group of people has historically had their work undervalued for several reasons and it is time that changes.

Why has their work been undervalued?

Several reasons. Publicly funded, privately run facilities that put shareholder profit ahead of resident care which includes paying low wages. The work is precarious with people having to work part time hours across several facilities to make “ends meet”. Women, and especially women of colour are historically over represented in the gender wage gap.

What other issues are facing health care workers?

Workers in healthcare, specifically long-term care homes, were often working in multiple sites before the pandemic. To prevent the virus from spreading rapidly through multiple homes provinces ordered workers to work at a single site. This left workers in a precarious position. It was not always clear what protections the had to come back to their second job once this was all over, and how they would make up for lost income. Provinces have taken different approaches to this but the confusion and uncertainty left many workers frustrated.

The shift to working at multiple sites came as the industry moved from full-time employees to a focus on part-time employment, to skirt benefits and other advantages of full-time work. The USW has fought and continues to fight this shift.

Additionally workers have faced many infection control issues while working to keep people in their care safe.

What will happen to any information I post on this site or share with you?

Your safety and security are our number one priority. Any personal information you submit to USW will remain strictly confidential, unless you indicate we can post it on our website.

Survey responses will be held in the strictest confidence. No personal information connected to the survey responses. Data will be aggregated so we can identify general trends and demographics. No individual information will be singled out and your specific information/responses WILL NOT be shared with your employer. Additionally, we will not contact you directly, unless you have indicated that you would like us to.
If you use the mail-out tool to send the campaign letter, your name and contact information will be shared with the corresponding MP/MLA, and subject to their privacy policies.


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