Failing Workers and Patients


    Discussion Groups > What are the real costs of being a home care worker?

    I wonder whether any home care workers out there have put pen to paper to determine just how much of thier ways are being poured back into their jobs through unpaid travel and mileage. Can anyone comment?

    November 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterErinn

    I spend at least one quarter of my wages on time and more putting gas in my car. I use my own time contacting the night prior to my visit and my own time responding to requests or questions from my employer. When i need a new car, i make no wage till it is paid for. DO I LOVE MY JOB?

    March 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commentersandy

    I so agree with the comments on this site.We love our jobs and our clients this is why we stay in this profession. Being a homecare worker is fullfilling,we chose this profession, because we are caring people, I know no one who does this job for the money..Some days I have worked 1 hour travelled 32 kms to the clients home and then 32 kms back... figure this out ..did I make money By the end of the 2nd week before pay I am counting the kms to see if I can get thru the next day because I have no money left...I am a single mother and its very hard......My job is very important to me, I have people who rely on me,need me but its very frustrating...I have often thought about working in a facility for more money and only 2 way travelling, but then what happens to my clients!!!

    March 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTLC

    I just started working for Red Cross in January - I not only find it very frustrating that I am not compensated for my travel time between clients but all the time I have to put in (unpaid) checking voice mail, contacting clients, contacting supervisors about client concerns and filling out new charts for clients. On any given day this unpaid time can amount to 1-3 hours. They have a manditory call ahead program - where you have to contact your clients prior to your visit - these calls are made on my own time - everyday. If this is mandatory then why arn't we compensated for our time, rather than be threatened that "failure to follow this protocol may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination"? This makes no sense to me - how can they threaten to fire us if we fail to do something that is to be done on our own UNPAID time??

    March 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

    Double the post from Deb. I also work for Red Cross and everything she states in her post is correct. I can't get fulltime hours and I have been working for Red Cross for over 4 years, the only way the PSW's get more hours is to be available to work from 6AM till 9PM at night, split shifts everyday with gaps inbetween when you have no choice but to go home and many of our workers only take 4 days off a month to try because otherwise they could not make ends meet. Red Cross also does not give us a tax receipt for our cell phones so we can claim some of the expenses for our work but they call us on the cell phones all the time and many times we have no choice but to use the cell to call our supervisors. Margo

    April 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMarwilson

    Triple the post from Deb. I just hope that hundreds of people respond to Deb's post and say that they agree with it. I have said the same things at a meeting we had and there was hardly any support from the workers. I just don't get it!!!! If we would all stand together and support one another and just say " I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" then things would change. I have come to the conclusion that if there is not going to be more support in my area then I am not going to say too much. It's hard for me not to say anything because it is obvious that the government, the CCAC and the Red Cross are taking advantage of the workers. But on the other hand if we allow them to make us work for free then KUDOS to them, we deserve what we get.!!! I want all Red Cross Workers to realize that we will be treated by the Red Cross in the manner that we allow them to treat us.

    I totaly agree with the above post but I have one example to add to it. I have been told by my supervisors that I am the only one that complains about coming in to get my ass chewed off for free. If we make any mistake they expect us to come in to the office and be disciplined for free. I asked them if they thought I was crazy to come in and get in shit for free and I refused.
    I said that I would come in if they said that it was manditory (ie. I would get paid), otherwise I would not.
    The result is that I was threatened by a letter in the mail from my supervisor's supervisor that I was impeding an investigation and could be disciplined up to and including termination.
    The result was that I went in to the meeting for free because I need my job.
    I did realize however that the supervisors hate these meetings as much as myself so I now pretend that these meetings do not bother me.
    Is it true that it is JUST ME that does not like to go to these meetings for free?

    April 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJust Me

    I totally understand where you are coming from with the investigation meetings. I too have had to go into the office for a meeting and they make a day for you and don't take into consideration that I have a 3yr old and that just to come into the office I have to get a sitter, pay to get there, pay to get home then go to work for the day. Therefore I prolong the meeting until its too late for them to even do anything about it or agree to meet me where I live. Sometimes there are days I feel like calling in and telling them " I can't work today cause I have no money for gas and I have already used all you gave me." I wonder if we started doing that if that would wake them up. Im bitching like I hate it, don't get me wrong I love my job and all my clients and great but frustration sure takes over sometimes!! I have a van to boot and one post up above said we should all get cars that are fuel efficient how can we afford that when we cant even afford to put gas in the ones we got? thats a brainy idea there can you buy me one of those cause my kids need to eat and thats what I spend whats left of my paychecks on. Im sure im not the only one who cannot afford car payments on top of everything else.

    April 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJust Me

    I have been fighting the home care system for 10 months now.
    I am doing it for the clients and! the workers. Without workers
    we have nothing.
    My daughter is on care from CCAC and when it comes to missed visits,
    CCAC sais they can not do anything about it. Their hands are tied, they say!
    My daughter's visits were missed 28 times in March and April with no courtesy call to notify us in more then half of those visits. CCAC has finally categorized her as "high priority" but we still have missed visits.

    What we need is for all the home care workers to fight for what you deserve!

    I have 400 petitions with 45 signing spaces on each. I also have the petition on ( ) in french and English. The word needs to be passed on!


    We need this to work! if we want Home Care to be part of our future. Many people need this service and the service will not exist without you.

    I am doing my part but I need your help!!



    June 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPierre Julien