Letter to Extendicare re: Mileage Reimbursement Rates
CLAC has submitted a letter to Extendicare executives regarding the ongoing issue of gas prices and its impact on the company's employees
On April 4, 2022, CLAC issued a letter to Extendicare's executive team asking that they address the mounting gas price issue, which is negatively impacting homecare workers across Ontario.
The full correspondence can be found below. In summary, CLAC is asking that the employer either immediately raise its personal support worker (PSW) mileage reimbursement rate to match the Canada Revenue Agency's current rate of 61¢ per kilometre, or to match the 46¢ per kilometre rate being offered to ParaMed's registered nurses in Oshawa, Ontario (46¢ per kilometre).
CLAC will continue to update ParaMed's employees and its membership regarding any future correspondence and activities regarding this campaign.
Re: ParaMed PSW Mileage Reimbursement
CLAC is deeply concerned that the escalating price of gas will negatively impact ParaMed’s ability to attract and retain PSWs in the homecare sector. Furthermore, we believe it is within the power of the Extendicare/ParaMed executive team(s) to implement changes that will benefit CLAC members employed by ParaMed in the Durham Region.
It is not hyperbolic to suggest that skyrocketing gas prices are causing your workers to lose money, especially in Ontario, where the government has yet to provide relief at the pumps, as seen in Alberta. At the current ParaMed PSW reimbursement rates, which range from 38¢ to 45¢ per kilometre across the province, it is becoming increasingly difficult for these employees to make a living wage. The rising price of gas is a key contributor to the sector’s inability to attract and retain qualified PSWs.
If urgent action is not taken, we believe that the current staffing crisis in homecare will be made exponentially worse.
CLAC recognizes that Extendicare and its subsidiaries have every right to resist discussions about amending the milage reimbursement rate until collective agreements expire and are subject to renewal. While technically correct, we believe this position will be cold comfort when ParaMed can no longer recruit or retain PSWs willing to work in the homecare sector.
CLAC would like to suggest the following immediate emergency provisions on a without precedent or without prejudice basis:
- ParaMed to immediately increase the current mileage reimbursement rates for these employees to the maximum rate allowable under CRA guidelines.
- In the alternative, we call on ParaMed to immediately increase the PSW mileage reimbursement rate to match the 46¢ per kilometre rate that is currently being paid under the ParaMed Oshawa RN Agreement.
CLAC has already approached the ParaMed labour relations team directly to discuss this issue, and we have been told that this has matter has been communicated to the executive team for consideration. CLAC respectfully suggests that this matter is a full-blown crisis that requires immediate attention.
Our team would be happy to meet with you next week to discuss this important issue.