The Ontario government is investing an additional $169 million to extend the temporary wage increase for personal support workers and direct support workers for the third time since its initial investment last year.
The increase will continue until October 31, 2021, and will help stabilize staffing levels and support our frontline health care workers to ensure the province is prepared to respond to any scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve.
“Since the outset of the pandemic, personal support workers and direct support workers have been critical in supporting some of our most vulnerable patients,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health in a statement. “As we head into the fall, ensuring Ontario’s personal support workers are supported will ensure patients continue to receive the high-quality care they need.”
The government is extending the wage enhancement for over 158,000 workers who deliver publicly funded personal support services or direct support services in hospitals, long-term care, home and community care, and social services until October 31, 2021. This includes:
- $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 June 11, 2021, which was set to expire on August 23, 2021. Since October 2020, Ontario has invested $841 million and, with this additional $169 million, will have invested over $1 billion for personal support workers and direct support workers. The province will continue to review the wage increase to inform its next steps to ensure this important investment will bring the greatest stability and support for Ontario’s personal support workers and direct support workers.
“This wage enhancement extension recognizes the vital work and significant sacrifices that personal support workers and direct support workers continue to make to keep Ontarians, including our most vulnerable, safe and healthy,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, President of the Treasury Board. “We will continue to make historic investments to improve home and community care, long-term care, public hospitals, and the social services sector throughout the province as part of our fight against COVID-19.”
“Our government is committed to rebuilding and repairing long-term care in Ontario,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Further extending the wage increase will help us continue to attract and retain personal support workers who provide residents with the care they need and deserve everyday.”