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Personal Support Workers, or PSWs, are starting to fight back, but their wage increases equate to worry for clients, families and service provider agencies.

THE CAREGIVERS' LIVING ROOM A Blog by Donna Thomson: A Fight Between PSWs, Clients and Agency Service Providers Spells Trouble For All
an article by always erudite Howard Gleckman  He wrote in Forbes:

Should the aides who provide home care for frail elders and younger people with disabilities receive a living wage and decent benefits?  If they do, how can families, who often are unable to afford care today, be expected to pay those higher wages and benefits?  Should the market be allowed to set these prices, or should government intervene through minimum wage and mandatory overtime laws? …. These questions have set off an enormous, but largely unnoticed, political firestorm.  In some states, they have pit states against the federal government, people receiving care against their aides, and large home care agencies against independent direct care workers.

In Ontario, exactly the same questions are being asked. This time last year, the then Ontario Liberal Health Minister Deb Matthews and Finance Minister Charles Sousa announced an election promise of an increase in the minimum wage for 34,000 publicly paid Personal Support Workers to $16.50 an hour by April 1, 2016, up 32 per cent from the current rate of $12.50.  Implementation of that promise hasn’t been easy.   According to the Canadian Union of PublicEmployees (CUPE), some home and community care agencies have chosen not to implement the wage increase or they exclude sick leave, vacation and training hours in the new hourly wages.  The sum total effect, says a CUPE spokesperson, is that most Ontario PSWs have yet to receive a wage increase.

The real lives of personal care workers are documented in a new film titled CARE, due for release later this year.   The trailer is riveting and I recommend watching it HERE for a clear picture of the human side of our crisis in home and community care.

The care workers depicted in the film are all women.  They are mothers and daughters who have left their own families behind in more impoverished countries in order to care for more affluent strangers in the United States. 

Many care workers in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand match this description.  Eva Kittay drills down into the issues surrounding immigrant care workers and the role they play in a larger, profit driven dynamic.

The migration of care workers is caused both by a pull, the need for care workers, and a push, the need of these women to provide for their families.

Eva Feder Kittay‘From the Ethics of Care to Global Justice

The truth is that people need care and care workers must be able to earn a living wage. 

New LinkedIn Group
Canadian Caregivers United is a new group on LinkedIn.