Ontario continues problematic PSW Wage Program instead of making permanent fixes to elder care – UFCW Locals 175 & 633 calls on the Ford government to make permanent improvements for all healthcare workers

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, March 18, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Earlier today, the Ontario government announced the continuation of the temporary wage bonus program of $3 per hour, for some Personal Support Workers (PSWs). Instead of creating the necessary solutions that would address the employment issues in the sector, the government has chosen instead to continue to delay working towards fixing the ongoing crisis in eldercare.

“PSWs are hard-working and deserve all the supports they can get,” said Shawn Haggerty, President of Local 175 of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents more than 5,000 healthcare workers in Ontario. “This program of bonuses does not properly address the real problems with employment in eldercare, does nothing for all other healthcare workers and completely excludes workers in retirement home settings.”

The announced extension of the temporary bonuses would apply to PSWs in publicly funded long-term care homes, hospitals, group homes, and some home care settings until June 30th, 2021.

Chronic understaffing and underfunding have been major issues long before COVID-19 appeared. The current system cannot meet the needs of employees or patients even in the best of times.

“This announcement continues to fall short of actually addressing the critical staffing problems across all eldercare settings in Ontario,” added Haggerty. “Our Union along with many others have been advocating for years for proper and permanent changes that would make employment in eldercare a priority, and ensure that our seniors get the quality care they deserve.”

“Premier Ford needs to stop delaying and actually sit down with all stakeholders in order to implement meaningful lasting change. That begins with making permanent improvements to all workers’ wages.”

UFCW Locals 175 & 633 represents more than 70,000 Union Members across Ontario including over 5,000 health care workers in long-term care, retirement home, homecare and congregate care workplaces.
For more information contact:
Tim Deelstra, Engagement & Media Relations Strategist
UFCW Locals 175 & 633
media@ufcw175.com   (226) 750-4366 Cell   (800) 565-8329 Office