Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, issued the following statement today on Personal Support Workers (PSW) Day:
"As our population ages, home and community care is becoming even more important. That's why last week I launched Patients First: A Roadmap to Strengthen Home and Community Care. Ontario's personal support workers are key to the success of this three-year plan. Each day more than 34,000 personal support workers across the province play an indispensable role in helping seniors stay independent and supporting people with complex care needs.
Today, on PSW Day, I would like to acknowledge the tremendous work that personal support workers do every day and the important role they play in Ontario's health care system.
People who receive care in their homes heal faster because they are happier and more comfortable in a familiar setting - and personal support workers make this possible. Our drive to strengthen this critical workforce continues, including supporting improved compensation for personal support workers. As part of our commitment to increase the wages of personal support workers in the home and community care sector up to $4.00 over three years, we implemented a $1.50 per hour wage increase in 2014-15 as a first step. We intend to continue to increase wages of personal support workers to meet this commitment, which includes establishing a new minimum base wage of $16.50/hour by April 1, 2016.
We are also working with home and community care stakeholders to support and build a more stable personal support workforce. This includes measures to create more permanent and less casual employment for personal support workers, as well as on-the-job orientation to help new graduates transition into the sector. Personal support workers are an essential partner in our work to transform this sector, so that together we can improve the care our loved ones receive in the home and in the community.
I thank all of Ontario's personal support workers who work in all parts of the health care system for the difference they make in the lives of thousands of Ontarians each and every day."