Special care home employees and home care workers in New Brunswick will be getting more money, but how much remains a mystery.
The wage increase was included in $20-million worth of seniors' initiatives unveiled last week by Premier Brian Gallant.
Jan Seely, chairperson of the Human Services Coalition of New Brunswick, tells us they hope to find out more details in Tuesday's provincial budget.
"We advocated for an entry level base wage of $15.50 [an hour]," says Seely, who is also president of the New Brunswick Special Care Home Association. "Right now, the average wage of a home support worker is $13.40 and the average wage of a special care home worker is $12 an hour."
Government investing $20 million in initiatives for seniorshttps://t.co/QXRanKDh7N
— Government of NB (@Gov_NB) January 26, 2018
Seely says the province's 12,000 special care home employees and home care workers have been vastly underpaid for years, which makes it hard to recruit and retain people.
"We've got so many youth that we want to put to work, but right now there's little to no interest in this field because the wages are so poor that nobody can really look it as a career," she says.
"You can't raise a family on $12 an hour."
Seely says the province invested $10 million in 2017, which amounted to a $1 per hour increase for some workers, but no money was included in the 2016 budget.
She's hopeful the province will continue to invest in the sector in the years ahead.