Province provides $461 million to temporarily enhance PSW wages

 The Ontario government is supporting personal support workers (PSWs) and direct support workers in the home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals, and social services sectors by investing $461 million to temporarily enhance wages.

This investment will help the province attract and retain the workforce needed to care for patients, clients and residents in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know the wages of PSWs do not reflect the critical role they have played throughout this pandemic, in addition to their ongoing care of our loved ones,” Premier Doug Ford said. “Today’s temporary investment will bridge that gap and ensure this vital profession receives the appreciation and respect it deserves.”

The province is providing a temporary wage increase effective October 1, 2020 to over 147,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services:

  • $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in home and community care;
  • $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;
  • $2 per hour for approximately 12,300 eligible workers in public hospitals; and
  • $3 per hour for approximately 47,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services for the activities of daily living.

The temporary wage enhancement will be reviewed on a regular basis and could extend through March 31, 2021, in connection with regulations made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.

“Personal support workers and direct support workers care for some of our most vulnerable patients and have been critical in the fight against COVID-19,” Health Minister Christine Elliott said. “The pandemic has created additional pressures on these workers and as cases increase and we prepare for the upcoming flu season, this wage enhancement recognizes their important role in providing care for those in need.”

This temporary wage enhancement continues to build on the province’s COVID-19 fall preparedness plan, which includes an investment of $26.3 million to support PSWs and supportive care workers. The plan will help to increase and stabilize the healthcare workforce through the following investments:

  • $14 million for the Personal Support Worker training funds to continue training PSWs in the home and community care and long-term care sectors;
  • $10.3 million for the new Personal Support Worker Return of Service Program, to recruit and retain recent graduates to work in long-term care homes and in the home and community care sectors. This program will provide a $5,000 incentive to 2,000 recent graduates for a six-month commitment to work in these settings;
  • $1.3 million to train 160 supportive care workers to provide basic home support services; and
  • $700,000 in accelerated personal support worker training for 220 students with prior health experience to practice in Ontario.

 

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