End of Competitive Bidding Process in Homecare

The compulsory contracting-out of homecare services was first introduced in 1996 by the Mike Harris government.

The system was found to be inequitable, insufficient, and ineffectively-measured and -managed. It created disruption and understaffing and undermined continuity of care. The competitive bidding process also used up limited resources of both homecare agencies and CCACs. The system pitted worker against worker and drove down standards through an RFP process where agencies competed in a race to the bottom.

A moratorium was placed on the competitive bidding process by the McGuinty Liberals in 2008, but the Ontario Health Minister suggested in 2010 that the competitions would return, and the Ontario PCs vowed to return to the competitive process if they won the 2011 election.

The competitive bidding process was finally scrapped in spring 2013, although problems obviously still exist in the flow of the homecare dollar to frontline care.

SEIU Healthcare had been fighting for the end of competitive bidding for 15 years. Its end means that the system no longer treats home care PSWs as dispensable workers whose wages can be driven down by private care providers.

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