PRESS RELEASE: Justin Trudeau walks-a-day in a PSW's shoes

Watch: Justin Trudeau walks a day in a PSW’s shoes

Monday, September 21, 2015 (Richmond Hill, Ontario) –

A new video released by SEIU Healthcare, the healthcare union, shows MP and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau joining Emily, a Toronto personal support worker (PSW), on a regular homecare visit with her elderly client, Antonietta.

In June, the union extended an invitation to Ottawa’s three main political leaders to “walk-a-day” in the shoes of a healthcare worker. Mr. Trudeau accepted the invitation, and the original offer remains open to the other leaders.

“It was a great experience to show a politician how to do the hands-on work of a PSW,” said Emily, who has worked in homecare for about 9 years. “I really think it opened his eyes to the reality of the work when he saw how much Antonietta needed our help and how grateful she was for the quality care she receives.”

“Canada needs a national homecare strategy. So we’re asking politicians to walk a day in these workers’ shoes, to shine a light on the immeasurable value that homecare services offer an aging population,” said Sharleen Stewart, SEIU Healthcare’s president. “If we want to attract and retain homecare workers, the recognition, the wages, and the retirement security need to reflect the importance of the job and we need to work on this together with all levels of government.”

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Quick facts

  • The need for homecare is rising; by 2036, nearly 1 in 4 Canadians will be a senior
  • 2 million Canadians currently have 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:

Karin Micheelsen
SEIU Healthcare

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