Protest as hospital CEOs threaten payback if Hudak elected

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Frontline hospital staff took to the streets today to protest threats by hospital CEOs represented by the Ontario Hospital Association of payback if Tim Hudak's Conservatives win power in Ontario.

"Hospital CEOs are engaging in nakedly partisan and reprehensible behaviour on the eve of the election. We are not going to stand for this," said Sharleen Stewart, president of the Service Employees International Local 1 Canada.

The Ontario Hospital Association - which represents CEOs - has told staff representatives to drop a campaign for a cap on CEO pay and demands for job security, or face layoffs if Hudak is elected.

The OHA is in bargaining for a new contract with SEIU on behalf of about 17,000 hospital workers, including registered practical nurses, medical aides, and infection control staff. The main outstanding issue is job security.

The OHA is insisting frontline staff drop demands for job security and accept a two year wage freeze, at a time when hospital CEOs are pocketing double digit increases in their compensation. The association gave the hospital workers' union a deadline of today to voluntarily agree to concessions or face dire consequences if Hudak was elected.

Right on cue, the Conservative leader said on the campaign trail today that he would look at a mandatory wage freeze for nurses and teachers if elected.

"The bonuses these CEOs are pocketing are outrageous. We are not going to be intimidated, we are going to stand up and fight for fairness for our members," said Sharleen Stewart, head of SEIU.

The protest began at 11am outside the OHA offices at 200 Front Street West Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3L1.

For more information please contact:

SOURCE Service Employees International Union Local 1 Canada

For further information:

Greg Dwulit
g.dwulit@seiulocal1.org
4165265999

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Service Employees International Union Local 1 Canada

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