PRESS RELEASE: Homecare restructuring good for clients, workers: healthcare union

SEIU Healthcare, the union representing the largest number of homecare workers in Ontario, is optimistic about the announcement made today by Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. The Minister’s announcement is a positive signal towards needed restructuring of the homecare system to bring caregivers and their clients closer.

“Personal support workers work hard every day to deliver high quality care to their clients. As the province takes further steps to improve home and community care across Ontario, it’s critical that personal support workers play an increasingly important role as care providers,” said Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare. “SEIU is pleased to support the government’s proposal to introduce greater consistency for clients and caregivers no matter where they live in the province.”

Only by recognizing the importance of home and community care within an integrated healthcare system, can we improve the opportunity for more equitable access to the services caregivers provide at home—where families want to access them.

Stewart concluded, “It’s a welcome change to allow funding to flow more directly to the front line. We look forward to being part of the consultation process and we will continue to work actively with the Ministry on behalf of our members."

The union’s 2013 homecare strike and its 2014 “Justice4PSWs” and 2015 “Rise for Homecare” campaigns helped make concrete changes for homecare workers, including the 2014-2016 wage increases for 30,000 homecare personal support workers (PSWs) and new minimum wage of $16.50/hour for PSWs in Ontario.

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Quick facts

  • SEIU Healthcare is the largest union in homecare, representing over 10,000 homecare workers and more than 55,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario
  • The need for homecare is rising; by 2036, nearly 1 in 4 Canadians will be a senior
  • 2 million Canadians currently receive homecare services and 500,000 have unmet needs
  • Homecare PSWs 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

About SEIU Healthcare

SEIU Healthcare represents more than 55,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario. The union’s members work in hospitals, home care, nursing and retirement homes, and community services throughout the province. SEIU Healthcare has a strong track record of improving wages, benefits and working conditions for healthcare workers, supporting the training and development needs of its members, and strengthening standards in the management and delivery of patient and client care.

For media inquiries, contact:

Gilleen Witkowski
SEIU Healthcare

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