Ontario introduces legislation making PSW pay rise permanent: government source

the Ontario government plans to soon make permanent an hourly wage increase for personal carers that was halted during the pandemic.

A senior government source confirmed to The Canadian Press that the government intends to introduce legislation on the issue this month.

The wage increase for health workers has since been repeatedly extended by months COVID-19 hit the province two years ago.

It currently expires on March 31st.

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Ontario continues to extend temporary wage increase for personal assistants

The source said long-term care and community care workers will retain pay increases of $3 per hour and public hospital workers will retain a $2 per hour pay rise.

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The wage increase affects about 158,000 workers who provide publicly funded services in home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals and social services.

The government has said in the past that the temporary scheme aims to stabilize, attract and retain health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Prime Minister Doug Ford had promised that his government would maintain the pay rise for personal assistants, but he had not confirmed when or how that would happen.

The move will be the latest move by Ontario’s progressive Conservative government to encourage healthcare workers to stay on the job after two grueling years of COVID-19.

Retaining nurses and other health workers has been raised as a key issue throughout the province’s fight against the pandemic, with unions citing concerns about burnout and low wages.

This month, the province announced a $763 million plan that offers nurses an incentive payment of up to $5,000 per person to encourage job retention.

Health unions called the plan a “temporary fix” ahead of the expected June elections.

Workers’ groups have also called on the Ford government to repeal a law capping annual public sector wage increases at 1 percent.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

https://globalnews.ca/news/8683351/ontario-psw-personal-support-worker-wage-increase-permanent/ Ontario introduces legislation making PSW pay rise permanent: government source

Brian Lowry

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