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people marching in support of personal support workers' payThe #EqualityCare campaign promoted fair wages for homecare workers

Personal Support Workers (PSWs) are essential front-line workers. They care for some of the most vulnerable people in our community and keep them safe at home. Yet, PSWs in homecare get paid almost 25% less than those who do equal work in hospitals and long-term care homes. Because of this, #EqualityCare was formed.

A campaign to promote fairness for PSWs in homecare, the #EqualityCare campaign started at a grassroots level with PSWs driving the agenda, generating the messages and advocating on behalf of their thousands of peers. Connie Ndlovu, PSW and president of CUPE Local 7797, was one of the first to speak out. “Homecare workers make some of the lowest wages in government-funded jobs. Most PSWs in homecare are women of colour who live in poverty. The pandemic has exposed this broken healthcare system.”

With the backing of CUPE and The Neighbourhood Group, the message on the campaign’s website, petition and letters to the Provincial Government was heard far and wide. Media outlets like the CBC, Globe and Mail and Toronto Star gave prominent coverage to the plight of these deserving PSWs, not only for the wage disparity, but also for the lack of benefits and the precarious nature of their homecare work.

To date, the Province has not adjusted the system. But the more everyone speaks out, the closer we get to effecting change for these essential workers.