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Improved Wages Would Recognize Valuable Work of Employees: Minister Irvin-Ross

The Manitoba government is enhancing funding for support worker wages at agencies that offer valuable residential services for adults with intellectual disabilities, Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross announced today.

 "We are investing an additional $6 million over three years so that agencies offering residential services for adults with intellectual disabilities can raise the wages of their workers,” Minister Irvin-Ross said.  “These agencies require the new funding so they can continue to attract and retain employees who do important work with adults who have complex needs.

The fund will permit residential agencies to raise starting wages in each of the next three years to between $13 and $14 an hour by 2017, Minister Irvin-Ross said, adding the changes will start this year.  

A committee comprised of agency, union and government representatives will offer guidance in establishing the wage enhancement fund, the minister said, noting this will include developing new standards for training, reviewing agency administrative structures and ensuring the efficient use of funds by agencies.

“Reviewing and increasing wages would create more equitable incomes for workers across the province,” Minister Irvin-Ross said.  “This will especially benefit smaller and rural residential agencies that have historically been unable to offer wages that are competitive with larger agencies.”

This wage enhancement fund is similar to one developed for Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care.  That fund has been successful in ensuring better wages and training among early childhood educators working at child-care centres across the province, the minister said.

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