Today, SEIU Healthcare workers met with Premier Kathleen Wynne in Sudbury, to give her feedback on the rollout and impact of the historic wage increase that 30,000 Ontario personal support workers received in the last quarter of 2014.
"The $1.50/hour increase in 2014 has meant a lot for me. I believe that I will be able to actually make a decent living being a PSW and serving my clients at home where they want to be. I want to stay doing this job but the pay has made it really difficult over the years," said Tara Price, SEIU Healthcare member from Revera Home Health in Sudbury.
“This is a great opportunity for our members to thank the Premier for her continuous efforts to enhance working conditions for PSWs across the province. The road is still long but we have no doubts about the seriousness of this government in dealing with the homecare file in Ontario," added the healthcare union’s Secretary-Treasurer Manny Carvalho.
SEIU Healthcare pushed for the provincial wage increase through its Sweet $16 campaign in 2014, after a 2013 strike put thousands of PSWs---mostly women---out on the picket line over unfair working conditions.
Personal support workers doing publicly-funded homecare will see another $1.50/hour increase in 2015 and a further $1/hour in 2016, bringing the minimum wage for PSWs to $16.50/hour by 2017.
Facts about homecare:
• The 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
• Publicly-funded homecare PSWs work for either private for-profit or non-profit companies that receive Ontario government funding through the CCACs to provide homecare services
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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. www.seiuhealthcare.ca