Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced on Thursday that the province is investing $461 million to help stabilize the personal support worker (PSW) workforce amid the COVID-19 pandemic, by giving over 147,000 PSWs “a much deserved pay raise.”
Ford said they would be providing a $3 per hour raise for 50,000 eligible PSWs in long-term care, 38,000 eligible PSWs in home and community care, and for 34,000 eligible PSWs in children, community and social services. There will also be a $2 per hour raise for 12,300 PSWs in public hospitals.
“Today’s funding is a first step that will provide a pay raise until March 2021,” he stated.
The Premier was joined by Deputy Premier Christine Elliott, Minister of Long-Term Care Dr. Merrilee Fullerton and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams to make the announcement.
On Wednesday, Ford said that he was “deeply concerned” after modelling projections released showed COVID-19 cases in the province could double every 10-12 days, with around 1,000 new cases per day by mid-October.
The province reported 538 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 52,248.
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