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Celebrating Our Personal Support Workers: Shoshannah Bourgeois

May 25, 2018 seiu

Shoshannah Bourgeois is a personal support worker (PSW) at ParaMed Home Health Care London and a leader at her workplace. Working in home care, she strives to give her clients the quality of life they deserve by providing personal care and keeping families together during those emotional times.

“I care for my clients the same way I’ve been cared for by my own family. You work so hard to build your home and fill it with treasures. It’s important to keep in touch with the outside world, but to also have a familiar support system and things that trigger fond memories, especially if you have dementia. At home, you feel safer and you live longer.”

She also feels right at home with SEIU Healthcare, praising the union for its strong will to secure workers’ rights and for offering many opportunities for members to get involved.

“I don’t want to do anything without SEIU Healthcare by my side. It’s the best union out there for frontline healthcare workers. It’s not just about collecting dues; the union cares very much about its members, fighting for their rights to have a better work-life balance. Not only that, it also encourages us to strengthen our own voice through rallies, canvasses, and the Leadership Academy.”

Getting involved in the union comes highly recommended by Shoshannah, especially for immigrant workers who feel they don’t have a voice.

“It’s difficult for immigrants to leave their home countries and come here to find jobs. Even if they get work, they still need to know their rights. I’m strong, but I can only imagine what it feels like for someone who has concerns but doesn’t know how to express them. Whatever you do, your union has your back. Full-pension and benefit jobs don’t exist anymore, and we must protect them because workers are either getting laid off or receiving lower pay than they should for the work they do. I believe SEIU Healthcare will do that for us.”

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