About

Contact

If you are a home care worker or know someone who is a PSW in home care, we would like to hear from you.

About HomeCareWorkers.ca

Home Care Workers.ca is a site for Personal Support Workers in the home care industry maintained by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

This website is a resource for home care workers. CUPE thinks that home care workers are currently under-valued, underpaid, and their work is not as safe as it should be. CUPE is in the process of organizing workers, including those in the home care industry, to increase wages, gain sustainable benefits, say over working conditions, and develop campaigns to make sure that home care workers are seen and valued in Canada.

If you are a home care worker or know someone who is a PSW in home care, we would like to hear from you.


About CUPE

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada’s largest union, representing 665,000 members across the country. We represent workers in health care, emergency services, education, early learning and child care, municipalities, social services, libraries, utilities, transportation, airlines and more. We have more than 70 offices across the country, in every province.

As a strong and democratic union, CUPE is committed to improving the quality of life for workers in Canada. Women and men working together to form local unions built CUPE. They did so to have a stronger voice – a collective voice – in their workplace and in society as a whole.

CUPE and Home Care Work

CUPE is currently running an organizing projects to unionize home care workers in:

  • Kingston, Ontario
  • Alberta
  • New Brunswick

CUPE’s members and executive are committed to building a strong voice for home care workers in Canada.

On December 17, 2015, the National Executive of the Canadian Union of Public Employees voted on and adopted the following resolution on home care work:

CUPE will:

  • Lobby the federal government to make sure that the $3 billion that they have promised to invest in more and better home care is invested into a national home care program that is fully integrated with the public health care system delivered by the not-for profit public system with national standards for care;
  • Map organizing opportunities in the home care sector and follow through with organizing drives;
  • Where possible, coordinate bargaining with the goal of achieving full-time permanent work paying good wages and providing health care benefits.

Because:

  • The current system of home care is a patchwork of provincial programs delivered by a combination of the for-profit sector and the non-profit sector;
  • Approximately only 25 per cent of home care workers are organized in Canada;
  • Home care workers are the least paid of health care workers and have the most precarious working conditions of health care workers;
  • Terms and conditions of employment for the non-unionized home care providers negatively impact upon those who are unionized.

Campaigns

In addition to securing improvements to working conditions at the bargaining table, CUPE also mobilizes public pressure on government decision-makers to enhance and protect public health care.

In Ontario, CUPE members run effective advocacy campaigns, on a number of health care issues, including:

  • increased staffing in the public health care system;
  • an end to health care cuts and privatization;
  • legislative protection against violence in the workplace; and
  • a reduction in deaths due to work acquired infections and adequate funding for health care.

What will CUPE do for me?

Why should you contact CUPE?

CUPE will fight to protect your rights as a worker, for fairness in your workplace and ensure respect from your employer.

Being a CUPE member means you have the materials, information, programs, and the staff expertise needed to meet the employer on equal terms, and negotiate better working conditions.

Each member has the assistance of a CUPE national representative. Representatives provide assistance with collective bargaining, grievances, health and safety, arbitrations, and other work-related issues.

Our staff also includes specialists who provide members with expertise in labour law, research, education, communications, job evaluation, discrimination and equality, health and safety, and technology.

Our strength

In CUPE the members are in charge. In each CUPE local, the members democratically decides their priorities for bargaining, when to settle a new contract, and how to manage funds.

CUPE’s strength comes from individual members working toward common goals. Together we maintain and improve wages and benefits, improve health and safety conditions, and make your workplace better.

CUPE Home Care Principles

CUPE has adopted the following principles when it comes to the implementation of home care services in Canada

  1. Homecare must operate under the principles of the Canada Health Act. Quality must be foremost. In addition to the current government focus on using homecare for post-hospital care, homecare should provide continuing care for persons with disabilities or chronic illnesses (including mental illnesses). Care should provide dignified lives for care recipients and dignified employment for workers in the homecare system.
  2. Homecare must not be a cheap way to replace facility based services, or be used to cut wages or download care to unpaid caregivers. Appropriate home care is a public good, not a commodity bought and sold for profit.
  3. Homecare must be of the highest quality. It must be universal, comprehensive, accessible and provided by not-for-profit organizations. The local bodies providing home care should be democratic organizations with local community governance. They must incorporate diversity.
  4. Homecare should be integrated into the continuum of health care services, and have enforceable, high quality standards. Homecare must be treated equally to the rest of the health care system.

Immediate steps the government should take

  • Stop competitive bidding. Competitive bidding diverts tremendous resources from care into marketing, administration, profit-taking and redundancy.
  • Stop for-profit delivery of homecare by building high quality, community-controlled, integrated, not-for-profit delivery. Eight years of expanded for-profit care has created instability and removed resources from care giving.
  • Repeal directives requiring the CCACs to divest direct care and allow CCACs to hire direct care staff. Move to a system where at least 50% of services are provided directly by the CCAC to set a high standard of quality care.
  • Establish a granting fund for non-profit agency pilot projects. These pilot projects would provide program innovation and meet specific local community needs that would:
    • improve access and services for ethno-cultural and marginalized communities.
    • fill service gaps and emerging needs.
    • promote health and prevent unnecessary hospitalization or institutionalization.
  • Establish terms of employment that are equal to other health sectors (i.e. at the hospital standard). Equitable working conditions must include standardized wages and benefits, pay equity, paid sick leave, pension benefits, employment security and guaranteed hours of work. The continuity of care relies upon a stable workforce, which, in turn, depends upon respectful employment conditions.
  • Repeal Bill 130 and restore democratic community governance of homecare services.
  • Fund homecare to meet population need for services, including supportive care to allow seniors to age in place and persons with disabilities or chronic illnesses to live in the community.
  • Ensure that culturally sensitive services are accessible on an equitable basis.
  • Establish clear and enforceable whistle-blower protection for staff and care recipients.
  • Establish strong protections of public access to information.
  • Establish a clear complaints system and a pro-active evaluation system for homecare under the Long Term Care Ombudsperson.
  • Establish a code of respect for homecare, including rights to access democratic, local control of services, rights to dignified working conditions, wage parity with health institutions (i.e. hospitals), job security, and (when necessary) successor rights.