TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2021 /CNW/ – Hundreds of frontline hospital workers from across Ontario, including registered practical nurses, personal support workers, cleaners, ward clerks and many others, will be rallying on Friday (12 noon – 1 p.m.) in front of the Ontario Hospital Association’s (OHA) head office in downtown Toronto to demand a fair new contract.
Despite all the public gratitude and accolades recognizing them as pandemic heroes, behind the scenes Ontario hospital workers feel devalued by their employers attacking their working conditions at the bargaining table and by Doug Ford’s provincial government cutting their salaries by nearly $1500 this year alone under a wage cap policy (Bill 124).
Nearly 70,000 Ontario hospital workers who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and SEIU Healthcare are currently negotiating a new provincial contract. Bargaining resumes with the OHA next week on Monday, September 13.
At over 60 rallies in front of Ontario hospitals over the past three months, hospital workers have been clear with their employers and the Ontario government that restrictions on mental health supports and rollbacks on wages and working conditions are not the thanks they will accept following their challenging work and incredible sacrifice during the pandemic.
Under the Conservative government’s Bill 124, hospital workers face a cut to real wages under provincial legislation that restricts them to a compensation increase of 1%, less than 1/3 of the rate of inflation. This also severely limits their ability to negotiate much-needed increases to mental health supports like post-traumatic stress counselling.
The OHA, which is the umbrella group that bargains on behalf of Ontario hospitals, is seeking many takeaways which would eviscerate workplace rights. In addition to getting Bill 124 repealed, hospital workers want the OHA to take concessions, including language around seniority and retirement packages, off the table.
Protect, Respect, Pay Us distanced protest by hundreds of hospital workers
Simcoe Park, beside the Ontario Hospital Association, 200 Front Street West, Toronto
Friday, September 10, 2021 – 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
SOURCE SEIU Healthcare