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  • News
  • April 29, 2014

Improving Home and Community Care for Ontario Seniors

Ontario Providing Fairness for Personal Support Workers

Ontario is improving the care of seniors in their homes and communities by investing in the recruitment and retention of personal support workers (PSWs).

The province intends to increase the hourly wage of publicly-funded PSWs who work in home and community care settings by $4.00 over the next three years. Ontario is also setting a new base wage for these PSWs that will increase alongside the hourly wage to $16.50/hour by April 1, 2016.

In addition, through Ontario’s new PSW Workforce Stabilization Strategy, the government will:

  • Develop measures to create more permanent and less casual employment for PSWs.
  • Help new graduates find work through an on-the-job orientation program.
    • Further examine challenges affecting recruitment and retention, including how PSWs can become more involved in teams of health care professionals to better care for patients.
  • Provide opportunities to strengthen sector leadership across the profession.

More than 34,000 of Ontario’s 100,000 PSWs deliver care, assistance and support to seniors and other people with complex care needs in their own homes and communities. By playing a critical role in helping Ontario seniors stay independent and supporting patients with complex care needs, PSWs reduce the need for more costly care in hospitals and long-term care.

Enhancing job security for PSWs who care for seniors is part of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place. It is also part of the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow by focusing on Ontario’s greatest strengths — its people and strategic partnerships.


“Personal support workers care for our most vulnerable patients. They are critical in helping seniors and people with complex care needs lead independent and healthy lives. As our population ages, we are taking action to strengthen this workforce so that it will meet Ontario’s personal support needs now and in the future.”

— Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

”Our government is committed to making the investments necessary to make Ontario one of the best places in the world to live and work. Personal support workers play a critical role in our society and we need to ensure that they are treated fairly for the important work that they do and so that we can recruit and retain our best care givers.”

— Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance

“We are committed to giving seniors the services and supports they need to lead healthy, active and dignified lives for as long as possible. By investing in personal support workers we are ensuring seniors continue to get the help they need the most, when they need it.”

— Mario Sergio, Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs

“Personal support workers work tirelessly to provide specialized one on one care for seniors and other vulnerable peoples in their homes and communities. This is wonderful news for our community of Scarborough-Guildwood, as it will allow our most vulnerable residents to live more healthy and independent lives, as well as giving their loved ones more peace of mind. Our community would not be what it is today without the care of personal support workers and I sincerely thank them for their service.”

— Mitzie Hunter, MPP for Scarborough-Guildwood


  • Wages for PSWs in the publicly-funded home and community care sector will be increased by $1.50 per hour retroactive to April 1, 2014, and are intended to increase another $1.50 per hour on April 1, 2015, and a further $1.00 on April 1, 2016.  The minimum wage for these personal support workers will also be set at $14.00 per hour in 2014-15 and rise to $16.50 on this same timeline.
  • Home and community sector PSWs delivered about 31 million hours of care to over 300,000 people including seniors and people with complex care needs in 2012/13.




FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY:                    

Susie Heath, Minister’s Office, 416-325-3645

Scott Blodgett, Ministry of Finance, 416-325-0324

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