Creating wage parity in community care
Ontarians rely on nonprofit community care every day. Yet, there is a rapidly intensifying human resource crisis in nonprofits delivering care. Wage disparity between community care jobs in nonprofits and those in the public and private sectors is driving the HR crisis and hurting the communities we serve. This means longer wait times, gaps in services, and intense pressure on our organizations to take on more with less.
Wage equality would mean nonprofits can continue to provide quality and accessible care for communities, meet increased needs, and address gaps in services by alleviating worker shortages. We need to remove this significant barrier in recruiting and retaining workers in the nonprofit sector.
In our new paper, we have outlined eight solutions to make wage parity a reality.
Four solutions with the government:
- Phase in wage parity with annual instalments for similar groups of frontline workers across municipalities, hospitals, schools, and community settings to achieve equal pay for equal work in four years.
- Redesign funding agreements with an equal pay for equal work principle so funding for nonprofit services is on par with that of municipalities, school boards, and hospitals and there is a set wage floor. In conjunction with the first recommendation, this can ensure there is no wage compression in organizations.
- Support the sector in building a comprehensive labour force strategy (as exists for skilled trades) that bridges all aspects of care, for a resilient nonprofit workforce. The strategy should include pathways into the sector, promotion of care work, and access to training.
- Prioritize nonprofit providers and the provision of community-based care as the priority for care service expansion. Ensure public funding is kept in care, not profits for shareholders.
Four solutions for nonprofits:
- Convene across subsectors to share information and align on minimum standards for wages and administrative costs for when funding opportunities and contracts arise.
- Work with the government to develop a comprehensive labour force strategy.
- Collaborate with workers, unions, and employers of all sizes in the sector to make clear to the public and families the cost of NOT supporting community care workers.
- Ally with families to help them advocate for loved ones’ care needs and demand better from the government.
Nonprofits have a critical role to play in making wage parity a reality. By advocating to the government, together with families and communities, we can better support and keep talented workers in our sector and focus on our missions and communities.
Learn more about wage disparity in community care and the ways in which nonprofits and the government can take action in our new paper.