Media Advisory: Ontario funding for Kingston hospitals “not good enough”, say hospital staff holding rally at MPPs office Monday 1:00 p.m.

KINGSTON, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Sept. 22, 2017) – Early August the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) alerted the Kingston community that Kingston hospitals had received sub-par funding from the province for 2017.

At the time, Mike Rodrigues the president of CUPE (1974) representing about 1400 front line staff at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC), called on MPP Sophie Kiwala to secure better funding for Kingston hospitals than the 1.8 per cent her government announced in May 2017.

For 2017-2018, KHSC received only a fraction of 3.1 per cent announced in the provincial budget last April and below the hospital’s increasing operational costs of over 5 per cent a year.

“We think it’s imperative that the area MPP advocate on behalf of vulnerable patients for the additional provincial dollars. Failing to do that will mean care and service cuts at KHSC,” says Rodrigues.

He’ll be among other KHSC front line staff taking part in a 1:00 p.m. rally at Kiwala’s Kingston constituency office (2-303 Baggot Street) on Monday, September 25 (2017).

“We said we would be vigilant on behalf of patients and hospital staff and active in getting increased funding for our hospital and that is just what we are doing. That our MPP would accept funding below the hospital’s inflationary costs is, just not good enough for our community,” says Rodrigues.

Michael Hurley, CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) president will also attend Monday’s rally.

Contact Information:
Michael Hurley
President OCHU
416.884.0770

Mike Rodrigues
President CUPE 1974
613.876.4309

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications
416.559.9300

Media Advisory: Bargaining for 27,000 hospital staff breaks down over workplace violence; 10 a.m. media briefing today, Queen’s Park media studio

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Sept. 22, 2017) – Contract negotiations between the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) abruptly broke down yesterday following the hospitals’ refusal to address the issue of workplace violence.

Negotiations for a new provincial contract for 27,000 Ontario hospital staff represented by CUPE that include nurses, cleaners and dietary, administrative and trades staff at 120 hospital sites in communities across Ontario, began in June.

CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) will provide an update on negotiations today (Friday, September 22, 2017) at 10 a.m. in the Queen’s Park media studio. Participants include Maggie Jewell, a nurse with more than 30 years experience, OCHU president Michael Hurley and OCHU secretary-treasurer Sharon Richer.

Protection from reprisal for speaking out, improving health and safety measures such as providing personal alarms for all staff, enhancing internal systems to flag violent patients and increasing staffing levels in emergency departments and psychiatric units where staff are vulnerable to assault, are key priorities for CUPE’s hospital sector members.

Although other sectors have seen decreases in workplace violence, incidents in health care are rising in Ontario. Nearly half of direct care hospital staff report being assaulted by patients or patients’ family members each year. It is widely acknowledged that incidents of workplace violence are under-reported because of fear of employer reprisal which hinders health care staff from reporting violent incidents.

Contact Information:
Michael Hurley
President OCHU
416.884.0770

Sharon Richer
Secretary-Treasurer OCHU
705.280.0911

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications
416.559.9300

Negotiations for 27,000 hospital staff break down following Ontario hospitals’ refusal to address workplace violence

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Sept. 21, 2017) – Contract negotiations between the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) abruptly broke down today following the hospitals’ refusal to address the issue of workplace violence.

Although other sectors have seen decreases in workplace violence, incidents in health care are rising in Ontario. Nearly half of direct care hospital staff report being assaulted by patients or patients’ family members each year. It is widely acknowledged that incidents of workplace violence are under-reported because of fear of employer reprisal which hinders health care staff from reporting violent incidents.

In addition to protection from reprisal for speaking out, improving health and safety measures such as providing personal alarms for all staff, enhancing internal systems to flag violent patients and increasing staffing levels in emergency departments and psychiatric units where staff are vulnerable to assault is a key priority in this round of provincial bargaining for 27,000 Ontario hospital staff, including nurses, cleaners and dietary, administrative and trades staff at 120 hospital sites in communities across Ontario represented by CUPE.

CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) and the OHA have been in bargaining since June for a renewal collective agreement.

“Ontario hospital staff, including those that we represent, are the most productive in Canada. While we have modest economic expectations, we did expect that the hospitals would address the problem of violence in our workplaces. Unfortunately, despite widespread evidence of an epidemic of violent assaults against health care staff, Ontario’s hospitals have little interest in bargaining constructive measures to reduce and prevent workplace violence.

“What we are proposing, in collective bargaining, would protect both staff and patients. However the hospitals have refused to engage in meaningful dialogue of this very important issue,” says OCHU president Michael Hurley.

Increasing staffing in areas where violence is prevalent (like psychiatry and the emergency departments), providing alarms, counselling and other supports to workers who are the victims of violence; creating adequate reporting between the Crown, police, corrections, other health care institutions and hospitals to identify potentially violent patients are among of the proposals put forth by OCHU/CUPE that “regrettably this far have been completely rejected by the hospitals.”

Last May, CUPE and UNIFOR nurses appealed to Premier Kathleen Wynne and Ontario MPPs to help with the systemic and widespread problem of violence against health care staff, the vast majority of whom are women.

“Many hospital staff have been beaten so badly they will never work again. We are incredibly disheartened that the hospitals are refusing to address this huge problem in collective bargaining,” says OCHU secretary-treasurer Sharon Richer.

Contact Information:
Michael Hurley
President OCHU
416.884.0770

Sharon Richer
Secretary-Treasurer OCHU
705.280.0911

Stella Yeadon
CUPE Communications
416.559.9300