SAULT STE. MARIE — With local personal support workers (PSWs) anxiously waiting for pandemic pay promised more than three months ago, Ontario NDP Health critic France Gélinas is demanding the Doug Ford government flow the wage boost immediately and give PSWs a permanent raise.
Gélinas’ call comes following a SooToday report that PSWs working in some local long-term care homes are still labouring away at the same old wages, no pandemic pay in sight.
“PSWs have been working under particularly difficult conditions during the pandemic, and are more run off their feet than ever,” said Gélinas. “They shouldn’t have to wait months for their wage boost to come.
“Ford was already doing less than the bare minimum by promising PSWs a small, temporary wage top-up. It’s not good enough for the government to, more than three months later, suggest the cheque’s in the mail and walk away from PSWs who desperately deserve more help and better pay.”
As part of their plan to overhaul home care and long-term care in Ontario, New Democrats are working to get PSWs a permanent $5-an-hour raise compared to their pre-pandemic wages.
“PSWs put their hearts and souls into caring for our loved ones, and they deserve a decent wage for the hard work they do,” said Gélinas. “The Ford government must take responsibility for the inexcusable delay in flowing pandemic pay, and urgently rush the wage boost to PSWs in Sault Ste. Marie.
“And the NDP will keep working to make personal support work full time and well paid, starting with a permanent, $5-an-hour raise for PSWs.”