RENFREW, ON, May 26, 2014 /CNW/ - Front line professional and support
staff at Canada's largest private sector provider of home care say they
are being pushed towards a strike that could soon affect patients
between Arnprior, Deep River and Barry's Bay.
Paramed Home Health Care is pressuring workers in Renfrew County to
accept a deal that will extend the freeze on their wages for a total of
Starting wage for Paramed Home Health Care is $12.88 an hour for a home
support worker. For that they are expected to provide their own vehicle
to shuttle between appointments.
That's below the poverty line, and made especially dire by the fact that
most of these workers - predominantly women - are limited to part-time
This contrasts with the CEO of Extendicare, the corporation which owns
Paramed. In 2012 Business Week reported CEO Timonthy Lukenda earned
$1.129 million in compensation.
Now Paramed says it cannot offer their Renfrew workers - which also
include personal support workers, nurses and clerical staff -- anything
better for the next three years.
This is despite the fact that home care is the one sector where the
government has been providing funding increases. Last year it was six
per cent. This year the proposed increase for the sector was intended
to be five per cent.
Depending on the outcome of the election, the personal support workers
may or may not receive the entire wage increase government promised
them earlier this year. The rise in the minimum wage for PSWs was
intended to stem the massive turnover in these positions. However, if
PC Leader Tim Hudak implements an across the board wage freeze, even
these workers may not achieve the $4 an hour wage increase promised to
them by 2016.
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union has been demanding financial
disclosure from Paramed during the bargaining process. While Paramed
has agreed to provide the disclosure, they continue to drag their feet
on doing so.
There are 140 Paramed Home Health Care workers represented by OPSEU in
Renfrew County. No strike date has been set.
For further information:
For more information, contact Nelson Ross Laguna at 1-800-268-7376 ext 5445 or 613-324-4174.