May 19 is Personal Support Worker Day; an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the vital contributions of Personal Support Workers (PSWs) to Ontario’s most vulnerable residents. These brave, dedicated essential workers have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving their all to support Ontarians.
PSWs comfort palliative patients in the middle of the night when no one else is around. They hold the hands of dying patients when family can’t be at their side. They ensure that thousands of Ontarians are cared for in the comfort of their homes. They allow nurses to focus on the complex needs of patients, knowing that a patient’s living needs are in good hands.
PSWs assist patients with daily living activities, such as hygiene, meals, and mobility, and work as part of patient care teams. They perform their jobs with empathy and care, so that the people they support can live with dignity.
OPSEU/SEFPO proudly represents thousands of PSWs in our long-term care homes, retirement homes, community, home care and hospitals. The COVID-19 pandemic has further proven just how valuable these workers are. The care they have provided has been central to saving lives in all areas of healthcare.
The precarious nature of their work has been an issue that OPSEU/SEFPO has been speaking about for years. Wages offered for these essential jobs have been appallingly low and these essential workers deserve much more for the role they play in caring for Ontario’s most vulnerable.
PSWs have gone above and beyond the call of duty to keep their workplaces safe and their patients supported during this pandemic. Many PSWs have gotten COVID on the job, and sadly, some have lost their lives in the process of caring for Ontarians.
We are proud to announce a new page on our website focused on PSW issues, and a Twitter account dedicated to raising awareness of these issues and sharing stories from PSWs in our union.
In celebration of the PSWs in OPSEU/SEFPO this week, we will be holding a prize draw. Click here to enter the draw. Winners will be announced on May 30th.
We invite all members to show your appreciation for PSWs on social media using the shareables below.
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU/SEFPO President
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer