The Ontario government just announced that personal support workers will see their temporary wage increases maintained into next spring.
According to a press release posted on October 28, the provincial government announced that they will be investing an extra $373 million to be able to extend the temporary wage bumps for PSWs and direct support workers. This increase will continue until March 31, 2022. The boost was originally set to expire on October 31.
"Personal support workers and direct support workers are essential in our fight against COVID-19, and we are extending these temporary wage enhancements in recognition of their dedication to protecting the health and well-being of Ontarians during the pandemic," Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott said.
This will affect over 158,000 PSWs and direct support workers who provide publicly funded personal support or direct support services in long-term care, home and community care, public hospitals, and social services.
Eligible workers in long-term care, home and community care, and those who work in children, community and social services that provide personal support will continue to receive $3 on their hourly wages until March 31. All eligible workers in public hospitals will still receive $2 an hour.
Since October of last year, the province has injected over a billion dollars into the health care system to finance these temporary wage increases in a bid to retain and even grow the support workforce.
The Ontario government said it will still look for a permanent solution to "address a range of longstanding recruitment and retention issues among personal support workers and direct support workers."
On October 27, the provincial government announced that they'll help with tuition for PSWs and registered nurses.