PSWs: An indispensable pillar in our health care system

Thursday, May 19 is Personal Support Worker Day and we want to take this opportunity to stress how vital support workers are to the health care system.

We deeply appreciate the extraordinary efforts they have made to care for people in need.

OPSEU/SEFPO is proud to represent thousands of PSWs in long term care homes, retirement homes, community, home care and hospital settings.

Anyone who has seen firsthand the care that support workers provide for sick, vulnerable and dying people know that they are exceptional professionals.

For most Ontarians who have not watched these amazing people at work, they may not realize how PSWs are the pillars who hold up the foundation of healthcare. They are the eyes and ears of the health care team and the voices of the people they care and support.

Sadly, government has failed to appreciate how important PSWs are to providing top quality care. Many PSWs are in precarious jobs and a lack of full-time positions with benefits/pensions is causing them to leave the field altogether.  Unfortunately, recruitment efforts have failed to keep up with the exodus.

There is a need to establish a governing body to regulate the field and to standardize the profession including untangling the many different job titles that fall under the mantle of PSW.

OPSEU/SEFPO knows how important PSWs are to health care and we’ve brought in a subject matter expert to help us mobilize to bring real change.   Laura Bulmer is a full-time nursing professor from our college sector and has been working for more than a year with our union and do research on PSWs.

Here is a list of initiatives underway- we encourage you to take sign up/take part.  It’s time to start #supportingsupportworkers!

  1.  Title protection survey (what do you think is an appropriate title for PSWs. 3 minute survey- deadline May 25, 2022 – https://s.surveyplanet.com/u8rogt9c
  2. PSW Champion Alliance: an alliance of Ontarians whose collective goal is to  support the support workers. Run by volunteers we rely on members to spread the important message that a world without PSWs would be catastrophic, so supporting them through the current crisis is needed now. Please sign up with your name and email to PSWChampions@gmail.com

President JP Hornick

First Vice-President/Treasurer Laurie Nancekivell