The Neighbourhood Group and CUPE 7797 are launching a new, collaborative campaign to advocate for a permanent wage increase for personal support workers (PSWs) in home and community care. The campaign titled “PSWs Deserve More Than Our Thanks” outlines the harsh realities of poor wages, precarity of work, and lack of access to benefits facing Ontario’s PSWs.
“PSWs are extremely undervalued in Ontario – we simply don’t have the necessary infrastructure and government support to meet the needs of workers or the care needs of our communities,” says Connie Ndlovu, President of CUPE 7797. “PSWs deserve to have access to good jobs, living wages, decent benefits, and paid sick leave.”
A cornerstone of the campaign is sharing first-hand stories from PSWs working during the pandemic who report poor working conditions and low wages, little to no access to full-time hours or health and dental benefits, and virtually no paid sick leave.
“The Ford government’s temporary wage enhancement is only a bandage solution to the systemic issues facing the care sector,” says Bill Sinclair, President and CEO of The Neighbourhood Group. “Without long-term government funding and commitment to improve wages and working conditions for PSWs, we cannot attract and support the excellent workers our community needs now more than ever.”
The Neighbourhood Group and CUPE 7797 encourage other employers and local unions to participate in the campaign and take action to demand a permanent wage increase and better working conditions for PSWs. To learn more about the campaign, visit www.cupe.on.ca/EqualityOfCare.