Saturday, November 16, 2013

How much should we pay those who care for the disabled?

This is an interesting issue.
PSWs have been asked to take a wage cut, and a reduction in benefits. Many PSWs have merely a gr. 12 education. Traditionally, employees are paid according to knowledge, skills, education and experience.

Salaries for PSWs range, depending upon their employers. Home care pays the worst, for-profits (Bayshore, retirement homes, etc.), transfer payment agencies; compared to public and non-profits and hospitals.
It’s difficult to determine an average salary for personal support workers in Ontario, who are unregulated and have about 500 hours of training. The Canadian Union of Public Employees estimated the average hourly wage of PSWs in Canada to be $12.71 in 2003. Personal Support Worker Canada estimates the average starting wage to be $14.53 and Internet company PayScale pegs it at $11.90 to $19.77.

However, the union said it has to fight the two-tier system that would see new workers start at $13.96 an hour and make $15.31 after five years. Stewart wants to know why St. Joseph’s Health System doesn’t cut CEO Kevin’s Smith’s nearly $725,000 annual salary plus $1,000 monthly car allowance.


PSW wages in Ontario

Wages for PSWs range from $12.00 - $21.00 per hour, between several variables.
They vary within cities and towns, vary rural to urban, and they vary depending upon your employer.

Transfer Payment Agencies, especially the non-profits (e.g., VON, Red Cross), pay lower for PSWs who do Home Care. Long hours, I talked to one who did a shift starting at noon and he didn't finish until 10:30 p.m.

Lanark County Red Cross: $15.03.
Sarnia-Lambton VON home care pays $14.48 per hour, plus $0.39/km mileage.
If you work for an institution, e.g., long-term care (LTC) facility (most are for-profit!) you can make $18 - 20/hour.
Durham (east of Toronto) employees can make from $12 - 21.00/hr., the lower range is for Home Care, the higher paid PSWs work in LTC.
Windsor LTC pay starts at $18.05.
Northumberland County: in LTC. It is under CUPE union and they make $23.26 per hour top pay.
Wawa (in Central Ontario) LTC pays $24.98/hour.

Underpaid PSWs locked out after refusing wage concessions

The March of Dimes is a registered charity that helps Ontarians with disabilities live independently. Recently the charity locked out about 30 Oakville Personal Support Workers (PSWs) after they refused to give in to wage concessions. These OPSEU-represented PSWs are currently paid as little as $14 an hour — or what some advocates are saying should be the minimum wage. Ontario's minimum wage is $10.25/hour.

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