It’s back: desperately-needed raise commitment for homecare PSWs reintroduced in today’s budget

SEIU Healthcare members are relieved that the Ontario government kept its promise to reintroduce historic home and community care raises in its budget today. 

The stories of homecare PSWs, who can make as low as $12.50 up to around $16 hourly (without fair compensation for travel time and costs) have touched the hearts of many, through their everyday work with clients and the Sweet $16 campaign to fix homecare in Ontario.

The caregivers should soon see a $1.50 increase retroactive to April 1, 2014, with an across-the-board $1.50 raise to follow on April 1, 2015, and a further $1.00 on April 1, 2016. Under this plan, the new base wage, previously set at $12.50/hour, will be $16.50/hour by 2017.

Quotes:

“Our members mobilized all over Ontario for our successful Stop Hudak campaign so that the new government would be one that would raise wages for home and community care workers right away. This is great news for over 30,000 low-wage workers that are so vital to our communities.”

“As soon as the budget passes, we look forward to hearing from the new Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins about next steps so our members know how and when they will start to receive this raise.”

- Sharleen Stewart, president, SEIU Healthcare

Facts about homecare:

  • Need for homecare is rising; nearly 1 in 4 Canadians will be a senior by 2036
  • Homecare personal support workers travel to clients’ personal homes and tend to their physiological, hygienic, emotional, and practical needs
  • There are more than 30,000 homecare PSWs in Ontario
  • Homecare PSWs work for either private for-profit or non-profit companies that receive Ontario government funding through the CCACs to provide homecare services
  • PSW wage varies by sector
  • The minimum wage for homecare PSWs was set at $12.50/hour by the Ontario government in 2006
  • The average homecare PSW wage is $14.50/hour whereas the average PSW wage in long-term care (nursing homes) is about $20/hour

Videos:

Below the Line | Walking in a PSW's shoes
Today Me, Tomorrow You | Walking in a PSW's shoes
The truth about homecare | Sweet $16 #swt16 – how to fix the homecare system

@J4PSWs
@SEIUHealthCan

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