TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ontario hospital workers who are predominantly women, are deeply upset that instead of rewarding them for their pandemic work over the last 18 months, the Doug Ford government is handing them a $1500 a year wage cut, now that inflation is on the rise.
Unable because of continuing COVID19 restrictions to hold in-person protests, today (Saturday, June 19) at 11 a.m. they will hold a virtual province-wide demonstration and media are invited to join them on ZOOM http://bit.ly/rally0619. In addition to OCHU/CUPE and SEIU Healthcare leaders, Ontario opposition party leaders will speak at the rally.
There has been generous praise for health care workers, but the truth is that the families of registered practical nurses, personal support workers, environmental cleaners and other hospital workers can’t eat the platitudes heaped on them by government. While they appreciate the acknowledgment for their hard work supporting patients, they are looking for a wage increase, not a wage cut, say the unions that represent them.
The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/Canadian Union of Public Employees (OCHU/CUPE) and SEIU Healthcare begin negotiations on behalf of their 70,000 hospital sector members with the Ontario Hospital Association, next week, on Monday, June 21. The bargaining is happening in the shadow of PC government wage restraint legislation brought in pre-pandemic that the unions say is “sexist, disrespectful and unfair” to a dedicated female workforce.
Bill 124, passed in November 2019 when inflation was at a historic low, caps bargaining for wages and compensation at 1 per cent a year for 3 years. Now inflation is 3.6 per cent and unless Bill 124 is repealed, it means that hospital staff will see a real wage cut of $1500 in the first year of their contract. Bill 124 also hampers hospital workers ability to negotiate the mental health, sick leave and other supports they desperately need following a gruelling pandemic effort.
Media are encouraged to view and record the rally demonstration on ZOOM link: http://bit.ly/rally0619