"Don't take away our family benefits, pay equity" Low-waged home care support workers urge health minister
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 14, 2012) - Personal support workers (PSWs) who provide home care services to over a 1000 downtown Toronto senior, ill and disabled residents are rallying tomorrow, Thursday, November 15, 2012, to protest Liberal government funding policies that make PSWs the lowest paid workers in the health care system.
The province has frozen funding for existing home care services for the next two years, although costs are increasing. This means the average annual wage for these PSWs could be cut to $18,885. That's well below the 2012 poverty line of $19,577 for a single person living in Toronto. To make matters worse the funding freeze may result in the potential loss of their family benefits and pay equity.
"Home care must not be the cheap way to replace hospital-based health services. And home care workers who are predominantly female should not be subsidizing underfunded services through low wages, no benefits and poor working conditions," says Sid Ryan the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL).
Ryan will be joining the PSWs at tomorrow's 3 p.m. rally outside the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care offices (80 Grosvenor at Queen's Park Crescent).
The PSWs will be calling on Ontario's health minister Deb Matthews to support them and the vulnerable people they help live independently at home. They will ask Matthews to work with the local Community Care Access Centre to provide adequate funding to their agency - Central Neighbourhood House - so that area residents have access the services they need and the PSWs and their families can continue to have a drug and dental plan.
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