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If anything has been learned during this COVID-19 pandemic crisis, it’s that PSWS are an essential part of the frontline of our healthcare system. Psw’s across Canada have continued to go above and beyond during this crisis, as they do every single day. Psw’s in LTC facilities, Retirement Homes and in the community are quite often, if not always, the first person our most vulnerable see. Psw’s are the ones who get residents/clients out of bed and ready for the day.

In LTC, psw’s have approximately 6 minutes to get a resident out of bed, toileted, washed up, shaved or hair done, clothes on and ready for breakfast. I, myself cannot do this and I am fully mobile without limitations, which most of our residents/clients aren’t. Psw’s in LTC have anywhere from 10-14 residents to get out of bed every morning within 90 minutes and quite often have to fit at least 2 baths/showers into this time. Psw’s in LTC make an average of $18.00-20.00/hour.

In Retirement Homes, depending on the shift, there are usually only 2-3 psw’s for over 50 residents. Residents in Retirement Homes are supposed to have minimal need for assistance from psw’s. However, this is far from the reality of our Retirement Homes. Here, psw’s are expected to shower residents, give them their medications (including insulin), do wound care, the residents laundry, serve them meals, clean the retirement home, assist residents to and from their rooms and so much more. Psw’s who work in Retirement Homes barely make above minimum wage. An employee at Tim Hortons can quite often make more per hour with their wages and tips. 

Psw’s who work in the community typically drive client to client with rarely getting a break in between. Yes, these psw’s usually are able to provide a better quality of care to clients than those psw’s who work in LTC or Retirement Homes because home visits are usually 30-60 minutes, depending on the client’s needs. Why are clients in the community able to receive more time for care than those in LTC or Retirement Homes???? Psw’s working in the community are typically paid $16.00-19.00/hour. But, what about the wear and tear on their vehicles from all the kilometres they drive on a daily basis? 

So, I’m petitioning our government to put a mandatory raise for ALL PSWS in Canada. We take care of our most vulnerable. We are their personal care providers, chefs, housekeeping, wound care, hairdresser, barber, companion, and so so much more. We are their eyes, ears, and protector. We are the first person who notices any changes in their behaviours, eating, sleeping, and physical well-being. We report these changes to the nurse or doctor so they can get the care they need from the doctor. This is only a part of why is psw’s do for our residents/clients. Without us psw’s, our healthcare system would crash very quickly. I’m petitioning that Justin Trudeau and every province and territory Premier mandate that all employers pay their psw’s what we’re worth, which is at least $25.00 per hour. I’m also petitioning that our Prime Minister mandate all employers back pay all psw’s the difference on their current wages to this one of $25.00/hour from the day that this pandemic crisis was declared. 

We, as psw’s deserve at least this. Please sign and share.