How a strike campaign exposed injustice and changed the way we look at homecare
SEIU Healthcare has been fighting for over 20 years to improve working conditions for homecare personal support workers, whose wages remain some of the lowest in healthcare. At a time when the importance and cost efficiency of homecare is being recognized by our political leaders, the healthcare system should treat our homecare PSWs with respect and pay them what they deserve and need to stay working in the sector.
The “Justice 4 PSWs” movement took hold among SEIU Healthcare members in October 2013, when 4,500 homecare PSWs went on strike after they were repeatedly offered increases of less than 1% on hourly wages as low as $12.50 or $13.
The strike led to a meeting between PSWs and the Premier of Ontario and the launch of the Sweet $16 campaign, after which the government committed to historic homecare raises. Although the first ask of the campaign has been largely achieved, the campaign is pushing for other specific changes to fix the homecare system for homecare workers and clients alike.
Political change is slow, but together, we are making an impact. Join the Member Leadership and Action Program to get involved!