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Community Care: The Coalition, professors and workers unite for better wages, working conditions

2018-05-08

Moncton The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity and the School of Social Work at the Université de Moncton held a Lunch and Learn to raise public awareness about low wages and poor working conditions in the caregiving sector. 

Professors Hélène Albert and Lise Savoie of the Université de Moncton presented previously unpublished results of a research they conducted with Isabel Lanteigne and Elda Savoie about home support workers in the Restigouche, Kent and Acadian Peninsula regions.


"You cannot reflect on the healthcare system and reinvent it without recognizing the contribution of women who provide home and community care. This recognition must result in decent wages, better working conditions and benefits, fixed work schedules, a safe work environment, as well as
social and monetary recognition of care services," says Hélène Albert, professor from the School of Social Work at the Université de Moncton.

The demand for community care is growing in New Brunswick, but there are few investments in the wages of workers. In New Brunswick, 12,000 to 15,000 people, mostly women, work in caregiving and child care. They earn an average of $12 to $15 an hour.


“In some female-dominated sectors, women are underpaid for their work, responsibilities and effort, notably when they provide care for the most vulnerable citizens of our province. It is time to recognize the value of their work,” says Frances LeBlanc, Chair of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity.


Two workers shared their experience: Carrie Randal, from a transition house, and Marie-Josée LeBlanc, from a youth community residence.


“As a community residence caregiver, I worked twice as I did as a correctional officer for half the wages,” says Marie-Josée LeBlanc, who temporarily worked in a community residence after being employed in a correctional facility.

A study by economist Ruth Rose showed that in 2012, the hourly pay of staff in four New Brunswick community care services should have been around $20 per hour to reach pay equity. Today, with inflation, it should be even higher.

“Our senior citizens, children and people with a disability deserve quality services when they need them. Workers who provide these services deserve fair pay to live decently,” adds Frances LeBlanc. 

Community Care

      Early childhood care and education
     Home support agencies
     Transition homes
     Community residences
     Special care homes
     ADAPT centres
     Family support
     Memory Care Homes


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Information:

Johanne Perron
Executive Director, New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity
(506) 855-0002; (506) 850-6963 (c)

Hélène Albert
Professor, École de travail social, Université de Moncton

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