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Statement Acknowledging Recent Provincial Announcement on PSW Incentives and Advocating for Pay Equality

by WeRPN

TORONTO – Yesterday the provincial government announced new incentives for Personal Support Workers (PSWs) in response to the critical shortage in Ontario, particularly in healthcare and long-term care sectors.

The shortage of PSWs has been an ongoing concern for Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) and others across the health system. WeRPN commends new efforts to bolster recruitment of these vital colleagues while acknowledging that in order to recruit and retain the health care professionals to meet the needs of Ontario’s aging population now and into the future, further funding is needed to ensure fair and equitable compensation for RPNs and those who work along side them.

Ontario RPNs continue to experience wage compression which is leading many to consider leaving the profession. A recent WeRPN survey found that 7 in 10 RPNs were considering a change in career with wages being the top reason.  The ripple effects of the province’s recent wage increase for PSWs without a similar increase for RPNs continue to impact these nurses. While we believe this increase was a crucial step in recognizing the invaluable contributions of PSWs, it inadvertently led to further wage compression between PSWs and RPNs with some PSWs earning amounts close to, or in some cases, even more than RPNs.

While RPNs recognize and support fair compensation for PSWs, it is important to acknowledge that they too deserve fair wages to reflect their knowledge, education and expertise.

PSWs play an important role in the delivery of health care. We, at WeRPN, applaud the ongoing efforts to recruit and retain PSWs. Simultaneously, we believe it is crucial to advocate for broader recruitment efforts that include pay equality across all healthcare sectors, recognizing the unique skills and responsibilities of each profession.

Our commitment at WeRPN remains steadfast in advocating for the interests of RPNs in the context of the broader healthcare community. We encourage open dialogue at all levels and collaboration to address these challenges collectively, working towards a healthcare system that values and compensates all professionals fairly.


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