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‘It’s a guarantee’: Ontario premier promises to make temporary pay increase for PSWs permanent

TORONTO — Ontario Premier Doug Ford has said he guarantees a temporary wage increase for personal support workers amid the pandemic will become permanent.

“I know it was temporary, but they’re gonna have a $3 increase in pay,” the premier said while making a long-term care announcement in North Bay. “I’ve always said folks, PSW’s are overworked, underpaid and they deserve every single penny, times 10. So we’re going to keep that in place.”

“It’s a guarantee. We are going to do it.”

Back in October 2020, Ontario announced that more than 158,000 PSWs who deliver publicly funded services would get a temporary bump in pay. This included staff in community care, long-term care homes, public hospitals and those providing services to children.

The funding was originally meant to expire in March 2021 but has been extended twice. It is now expected to expire on Aug. 23., if not extended again or made permanent.

While announcing the last extension in June, officials said that the temporary $2 or $3 per hour raise will “help stabilize, attract and retain the workforce needed to provide a high level of care during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In October, Ford said that he would work to make the change permanent, but no official proposal or announcement has been made about the pay raise since.

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