RICHMOND HILL, ON, May 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Today SEIU Healthcare, Canada's
largest healthcare union, responded after Ontario Hospital Association
(OHA) President Pat Campbell lashed out at an independent arbitrator
over a fair and balanced award that included a modest increase for
frontline staff in line with the cost of living.
In a statement, Ms. Campbell claimed: "awards like these reduce the
incentive for broader public sector employers and unions to act
responsibly during bargaining," referring to an independent arbitration
process that resulted from the failure in 2009 of the OHA to reach a
freely negotiated settlement with staff.
Ms. Campbell's concern with fiscal responsibility is interesting
considering that since the arbitration process first began, a drive for
transparency and accountability by frontline staff has led to
revelations that hospital CEOs billed taxpayers for perks like:
memberships in gentlemen's clubs;
the Jenny Craig weight loss program; and
lavish junkets abroad that included booze-soaked stays in Hong Kong
And as if these more than questionable expense claims were bad enough,
executive compensation rose sharply over the same period.
Public disclosures for 2009
Dan Carriere, CEO of Southlake hospital, got an 81% increase over the
five years ending 2009.
Robert Bell, CEO of the University Health Network took home $830,948, a
24 per cent increase over a mere three years;
Robert Devitt, CEO of Toronto East General Hospital pocketed $460,852,
enjoying a staggering 53 per cent increase in compensation over 5
years, disclosed on the same day the CEO shut the hospital's
rehabilitation clinic saying there was no money in the budget.
But that didn't stop despite appeals by the Ontario government for a
The year after, in 2010:
Sunnybrook Hospital CEO Barry McLellan saw his compensation package jump
by 18% over two years to $693,000.
Together, the executive team at Sunnybrook walked away with $3.2 million
in one year alone - enough to pay for over 219,000 hours of patient
In Windsor, hospital CEO Warren Chant grabbed a 35% hike in his
compensation, shortly before being fired for running a dysfunctional
"That the OHA has the audacity to lash out against modest investments in
recruitment and retention of frontline staff shows just how
out-of-touch hospital executives are," said Sharleen Stewart,
President, SEIU Healthcare. "The people of Ontario would much rather
see investments go to staffing the frontline than lining the pockets of
"The arbitration system is not broken, oversight of hospitals is,"
continued Stewart. "What we need is more transparency and
accountability over money being spent on excessive administration and
hospital executives' wages, benefits and performance packages when
those funds could be better spent on frontline care."
If Ms. Campbell was really concerned about patient care she would
encourage her CEOs to return the money they pocketed when thousands of
Ontarians, including healthcare workers, were being laid off during the
most recent recession.
SEIU Healthcare called on the province to get serious about making CEOs
accountable, and called on the OHA to end its combative and
confrontational stance towards the people who keep hospitals working,
and pursue more collaborative and constructive engagement with
stakeholders to improve quality and value for taxpayers and patients.
About SEIU Healthcare
SEIU Healthcare, Canada's largest healthcare union, represents more than
50,000 healthcare and community services workers across Ontario. The
union's members work in hospitals, home care, nursing and retirement
homes and community services throughout the province. SEIU Healthcare
has a strong track record of improving wages, benefits and working
conditions for healthcare workers, supporting the training and
development needs of its members, and strengthening standards in the
management and delivery of patient and client care.
SOURCE: SEIU Healthcare
For further information:
or to arrange an interview:
Media Relations Specialist, SEIU Healthcare
Tel: 905-695-1767 x 3123 Cell: 416-809-0699