This is the third in our series of Personal Support Worker Articles;
PSW Article #3: Personal Support Worker as a Job & Career : Terms of Employment
Personal Support Worker as a Job & Career : Terms of Employment
When you’ve finished up the course and passed your exam its now time to find a job! Now what exactly should you be looking for? Pay is certainly a big aspect but there are some other things to be aware of. For some, becoming a certified personal support worker is their first career experience. With the prospect of working for one company for a long-time the terms of employment now becomes an important issue. Some more advanced job clauses such as Benefits, Unionization and Employee Guidelines are now in play. Let’s take a quick look into a few of these.
Terms of Employment
The terms will include many of the most important parts of your new job
Wages – hourly, salary, overtime guidelines, vacation pay
Hours – guaranteed minimum, hours until overtime, maximum hours
Contract – length, raise qualifications
Requirements – certificates, future training and seminars, transportation
Expectations – tasks, care, emergency procedure, paper work, briefing, etc
Some of these are fairly self-explanatory and easy to understand. The min – max hours, overtime pay, etc would fall into that category.
What are the benefits? Does one psw employer offer something that you need? Sometimes people will get bogged down in some benefits, saying something along the lines of “well I don’t need it now but it might be nice to have in the future”. While this is valid to a point strive for a job that offers benefits that you will actually use. Dental is always a great benefit. Does the employer offer your family coverage? Does that even matter to you? These are the types of questions that you should ask yourself.
A few of things that surprise most beginning personal support workers are the seemingly endless string of meetings. Most employers will also want you to go through THEIR training modules, even if you already have the needed certificates. Many nursing components are added to proceedings.
One of the most important aspects of a contract are the workplace guidelines. Make an extra effort to memorize these early on. What is the procedure for a sick client? One that is showing signs of becoming belligerent? Do these actions get reported to co-workers, management, the supervisor? In writing or is a verbal notification needed? Is there a panel that needs to be gone through? All of these are valid questions to be asked and studied.
Also factor in the raise systems in place for each prospective employer. A personal support worker employer paying $16 to start may sound enticing but an employer starting at $14.50 with automatic wage increases per 1000 hours (roughly half a year) may end up being the most advantageous to your pocket book.
A Union workplace can raises the question of how effective really is the union? Does it push for promotions based upon work and qualifications or tenure? (you’d be surprised) And exactly how much are the typical union dues on a weekly and yearly basis.
This is just a small collection of factors that you should use when evaluating prospective employers. As strange as it sounds with today’s shortages you have more options than the employer. So don’t be afraid to “shop around” for the job opportunity that is the best fit for you personal and financial goals.