Ontario hospital workers feel contract offer is demeaning

Hospital Workers Rally For A Better Contract and More Respect (CNW Group/SEIU Healthcare)

A survey for the SEIU Healthcare union showed 96% of its hospital workers back the union’s rejection of an offer from the Ontario Hospital Association.

A media release from the union representing 17,000 hospital workers in the province said members believe Doug Ford and the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) are undermining frontline staff.

The SEIU bargaining committee said the offer would have resulted in real wage cuts for hospital staff when accounting for inflation.

The release said the survey showed half of all members would leave and seek employment outside of Ontario’s hospitals in pursuit of higher wages if the contract followed the Ford Government’s wage restraint legislation.

Nine-in-ten hospital members (92%) disagreed with the OHA’s use of taxpayer funds to run its paid promotional campaign on Twitter rather than use those hospital resources to support staff and patient care.

When asked how they might vote in the upcoming provincial election, 85% indicated they would vote for change. Only 6% indicated they would vote to re-elect Doug Ford’s government. Nine per cent of hospital workers surveyed indicated either they cannot vote or will not vote.

“After two long years of selflessly serving the people of Ontario in our hospitals during a crushing pandemic, staff rejected an offer from the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) they felt was demeaning, dispiriting, and not in keeping with the safe and secure jobs they need to deliver quality care. Ontario’s health human resource crisis will only get worse as a result of the anti-worker offer from the OHA and that means patient care will suffer and long wait times for hospital services will persist. Regrettably, the OHA decided they would rather use taxpayer money on promotional Twitter advertising instead of putting that money into supporting staff to address the historic backlogs in critical care. Hospital workers learned this week that the OHA is more interested in looking good than doing good, just like Doug Ford. We continue to call on the OHA to bargain a better outcome for patients, staff and care,” said Sharleen Stewart, President, SEIU Healthcare.