Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Personal Support Workers (PSWs) have been a great asset to the Canadian healthcare system.
Your contribution has been and continues to be, of immense importance, especially in long-term care homes.
The Government of Ontario has recently made an announcement related to PSW COVID 19 pay increase. This PSW wage enhancement is in the amounts of 2 to 3 dollars per hour.
While there has been PSWwage enhancement in the past, the new pay rate is effective up until the first quarter of 2021.
The new PSW temporary wage increase is effective up until the first quarter of 2021.
What Does This Mean for PSWs in Ontario?
Enhancing the pay rate includes just over 147,000 workers in Ontario across several medical settings including long term care, public hospitals, home health, and community care.
Due to the unpredictability of COVID-19, the temporarily enhanced wages for personal support workers won’t necessarily terminate in 2021.
In fact, this raise may extend into March of 2021 or even further upon regular review of the situation.
Why the PSW COVID 19 Pay Increase?
The government recognizes how relevant and vital PSWs are in working consistently with vulnerable patients and clients, especially the elderly population who are more susceptible to severe COVID-19 symptoms.
PSWs face insurmountable pressure on the job as it is, and stress is only being escalated by the pandemic.
This temporary PSW wage enhancement is being used as an incentive to maintain the workforce numbers during this difficult time and strain on the healthcare system.
What Should PSWs do for Long-term Planning?
The Ontario Government has said that this economical move is only a temporary change with a limited amount of money being infused into the healthcare system.
Since it has not been mentioned, we can only assume that pay rates will eventually return to normal as the pandemic dies down.
However, we sincerely hope that the Government reconsiders its decision about the temporarily enhanced wages for personal support workers.
The role of PSWs is extremely critical to the quality of life of our seniors, especially in long-term care homes.
Hope the Government will convert this temporary PSW Covid 19 pay increase to a permanent wage enhancement.