OPSEU/SEFPO is bringing in a subject matter expert on Personal Support Workers to help advise the union on what recommendations to make to the government about the future of the profession, President Warren (Smokey) Thomas announced Wednesday.
Laura Bulmer is a full-time professor in George Brown College’s School of Nursing and a PSW Subject Matter Expert. She has been seconded from her faculty position to gather data on PSWs and to develop recommendations to government, especially when it comes to regulation of the profession.
“I am delighted that we can tap into Laura’s vast expertise on PSWs,” Thomas said. “OPSEU/SEFPO is all about front-line know how and Laura’s knowledge will help us propose the best solutions that hopefully will lead to better working conditions for PSWs.”
Bulmer has considerable expertise in the field. She is a Registered Nurse and has been a faculty member in the education sector for over 23 years in addition to specializing in palliative and community care nursing. She is the recipient of a Crystal Apple Teaching Award and RNAO Recognition Award.
Bulmer served as an active member of the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) PSW Program Standard Review. She was also hired as PSW Expert Advisor for Elsevier’s Canadian PSW Video project in addition to being elected Chairperson of the Canadian Association of Continuing Care Educators (CACCE).
Bulmer has made a number of appearances in the news media on PSWs including the CBC and Maclean’s.
Little or no research exists on PSWs, and Bulmer will lead the development of research into this field for OPSEU/SEFPO, Thomas said. The research will help the union in the drafting of recommendations to policymakers at all levels.
“We are constantly talking to government about solving the problems that PSWs face every day,” said Thomas. “I’m confident Laura will give us some tools to help us make our case.”