Permanent Pandemic Pay for PSWs
CLAC commends the Ontario government for fulfilling the promise to make PSW pay permanent and continues to ensure the people of Ontario receive dignified and appropriate care when they need it.
On Tuesday, March 29, the Ontario government released their Plan to Stay Open, which included confirmation that temporary pandemic pay for PSWs will become permanent on April 1, 2022. It amounts to a $3 premium for PSWs and DSWs in long term care (LTC) and community care, and $2 for PSWs in public hospitals.
CLAC commends the province and Premier Ford for fulfilling his promise to make this PSW pay permanent. It’s the thanks they deserve for the immense and valuable contribution they make to Ontario’s healthcare system.
CLAC also supports the initiatives in the plan to provide tuition reimbursement to 1,500 nursing graduates annually, who commit to practice in underserved areas for two years. CLAC is also supportive of the legislative changes in the plan that, if passed, will make it easier to get foreign training certified for healthcare workers.
CLAC has met with the office of the Minister of Health to discuss these changes and to also continue advocating for a long-term solution that will include permanent wage adjustments for all front-line healthcare workers. Work is underway within the ministry to look at longer term solutions and CLAC will be contributing actively to the discussions.
Additional key points that CLAC will raise include:
- Addressing the systemic wage suppression in healthcare workplaces across all classifications
- Eliminating the 1% wage cap imposed on many healthcare workers by repealing Bill 124
- Advocating for additional training cost relief for healthcare workers
- Calling for the expansion of WSIB coverage in all healthcare workplaces
The demand for healthcare workers will only increase as Ontario builds new hospitals and LTC homes. 30,000 new beds are already underway. Even more workers will be needed to help meet the government’s promise to increase daily hands-on care in LTC from 2.75 to 4 hours per day by 2025. To achieve all these commitments, Ontario’s auditor general estimated that 37,000 new workers are needed within the next five years. CLAC has estimated this number to be much higher.
As the election looms, CLAC is working hard to advance the concerns and the wisdom of its members to all parties. You can read about just some of CLAC’s efforts in this prebudget submission, and in this contribution to the regulation consultation for the Fixing Long-term Care Act, 2021.
CLAC will continue to advocate for the resources our members need to ensure the people of Ontario receive dignified and appropriate care when they need it.