On Tuesday, January 21, 2014, 6 SEIU Healthcare homecare personal support workers (PSWs) sat down with Premier Wynne and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews to talk about their issues and what is urgently needed to fix the ailing homecare system. The 6 homecare PSWs work out of RCCP, VON, CBI and Paramed.

The meeting came after the end to a two-week long homecare strike over compensation and respect for PSWs. Minister Matthews pointed out that this was a historic moment, stating “never before have personal support workers and two heads of government sat in the Premier's chambers to discuss homecare.”

After sharing their personal stories, Melynda, one of the PSWs and speaking for the first time to an elected official, expressed that she was very encouraged that political lobbying could be something that she can see herself becoming good at.

In about 20 years, nearly one in four people in Ontario will be a senior.

Policy-level changes homecare union SEIU Healthcare and our PSWs are seeking include:

•Cutting waiting lists for homecare
•Providing relief to family caregivers
•Guaranteeing security and peace of mind for families by ensuring that every home care health professional is trained and qualified
•Investing in the frontline of public healthcare, not the bottom line of healthcare CEOs
•Demanding transparency and accountability in the delivery of homecare services
•Ensuring fairness for frontline Personal Support Workers (PSWs)

The PSWs conveyed an overall message that their services are essential and that their work deserves respect.