The Ontario government is planning to soon make permanent an hourly wage increase for personal support workers that were brought in temporarily and extended multiple times during the pandemic, reported CBC.
Premier Doug Ford confirmed the plan, saying health workers who “stepped up to the plate” in settings like long-term care during COVID-19 deserve it.
“For years, they were ignored, they were underpaid, overworked, and we acknowledged that by giving them the $3 an hour increase. We are going to make it permanent,” Ford said at an announcement about medical school education in Brampton, Ont.
The wage increase for health workers is currently set to expire on March 31, after being repeatedly extended for months at a time since COVID-19 hit the province two years ago. The source said role of personal support workers in long-term care and community care will retain personal support worker salary in Ontario increases of $3 per hour and workers in public hospitals will keep a $2 per hour raise.
There is a base wage rate of $16.50 per hour for personal support worker salary in Ontario before the increase is applied.
According to the news portal, the wage increase will cover approximately 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 program was aimed at helping to stabilize, attract and retain a healthcare workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move to permanently raise wages will be the latest by Ontario’s Progressive Conservative government to incentivize the health sector workforce to stay on the job after a grueling two years of COVID-19.
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