On April 14, 2022, the Ontario Government passed legislation that included enabling permanent wage enhancement for personal support workers (PSWs). (Read the complete announcement here.)
Part of the Pandemic and Emergency Preparedness Act, 2022 supporting Ontario’s Plan to Stay Open, the government commits to make the wage increase for publicly-funded PSWs and DSWs permanent, including by investing $893M in 2022-23. This means an additional $3/hour for ~50,000 eligible workers in long-term care, and $3/hour for ~60,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services to those who need assistance with the activities of daily living.
Thank you to all who made their voices heard in support of our vital and endlessly hardworking PSWs!
Our PSWs are heroes! Everyday they provide the help that people need so they can stay safe and well in their homes. The work is hard. They care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community, dressing them, washing them, caring for them. Yet, PSWs in the home and community care sector do the same work as those in hospitals and long-term care homes but are paid less.
During the pandemic, the provincial government has recognized this twice, offering a wage enhancement to PSWs. Premier Ford has said PSWs are overworked and underpaid. He has said they deserve our appreciation and respect.
We need to recognize the value of the work PSWs do with more than our thanks and a temporary pay hike. So, working together with CUPE 7797, TNG, sector partners, and PSWs, we are calling on the provincial government to:
1. Provide a permanent wage increase to PSWs in the Home and Community Care sector, and ensure all PSWs earn a fair, living wage;
2. Address precarity of work for PSWs, including lack of access to good full-time jobs with benefits and paid sick leave;
3. Work with employer groups, workers, and health experts to create new regulations for the Home and Community Care sector to ensure equality of care between the sectors; This includes improving the hours of care for clients and the wages of those doing the work.
We need your help!
Join the call for Equality of Care among Ontario PSWs.
Sign onto the Open Letter at https://cupe.on.ca/equalityofcare/
Contact your MPP
(You can find yours by typing your address in at this page: https://www.ola.org/en/members)
MPPs are most likely to respond people that live in their ridings. If they are not available, speak with a member of their staff to have your concern registered. Let them know this is an issue important to you.
Contact Premier Ford at 416.325.1941 or email@example.com
Premier Ford has publicly stated that PSWs are overworked and underpaid. He has also said he would like to make changes. Urge him to be a COVID-hero and do so.
Tell your story!
Personal stories work: Explain how PSWs have cared for members of your family or community.
Share this on social media!
Instagram and Twitter hashtag #EQUALityCare
If you have any questions or want to volunteer, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Ireton, CBC Senior Reporter covers the story on how home-care workers say low wages are driving them out of the sector.
Click here to read more and watch a short video clip of Connie Ndlovu, President of CUPE Local 7797.
Ford government plans more low wages for women health care workers
Ontario continues to pursue a low-wage strategy for the female health care workforce, a strategy that is quickly demolishing health care in Ontario.
Op-ed by Xolisiwe (Connie) Ndlovu
The Toronto Star
August 9, 2022