TORONTO: The Ontario government is investing $141 million to extend the temporary wage increase for personal support workers and direct support workers in publicly funded home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals, and social services sectors.
This temporary wage increase will continue until August 23, 2021, and will help stabilize, attract and retain the workforce needed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our government is committed to supporting personal support workers and direct support workers as they care for Ontarians during the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health.
“These wage enhancements recognize personal support workers and direct support workers for their dedication to their patients.”
The province has been providing a temporary wage increase since October 1, 2020, to over 158,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services, including:
• $3 per hour for approximately 38,000 eligible workers in home and community care;
• $3 per hour for approximately 50,000 eligible workers in long-term care;
• $2 per hour for approximately 10,000 eligible workers in public hospitals; and
• $3 per hour for approximately 60,000 eligible workers in children, community and social services providing personal direct support services for the activities of daily living. This latest temporary wage increase builds on the government’s previous wage enhancement extension on March 18, 2021, which was set to expire on June 30, 2021. Since October 2020, Ontario has invested $841 million to support personal support workers and supportive care workers.
The province will continue to review the wage increase to inform next steps after August 23, 2021. The government also recently announced an investment of over $115 million to accelerate training for up to 8,200 new personal support workers for Ontario’s health and long-term care sectors. Registration for the program is available through the Ontario College Application Service.
“Personal support workers are the backbone of Ontario’s longterm care system,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of LongTerm Care. Todd Smith, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services said: “By further extending this temporary wage increase, we can ensure that our most vulnerable continue to receive the care they need and we continue to recognize the dedication and commitment of support workers in all sectors.” Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Finance “Since the outset of the pandemic, personal support workers and direct support workers have made enormous sacrifices to keep Ontarians safe.”