Urge those running for Liberal leadership to move away from failed
policies attacking workers' rights
TORONTO, Nov. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - Busloads of health care workers from
across Ontario will converge for a rally in Toronto this Wednesday,
November 28, 2012 at 12:00 noon at the Ministry of Finance (southeast
corner Grosvenor and Queen's Park Crescent). They will be joined by
health sector staff and other public sector workers from across Ontario
at the Wednesday rally focused on defending impartial interest
arbitration and free collective bargaining for over 250,000 essential
health care workers.
Health sector arbitration is working well and shouldn't be attacked. The
government's intrusion into a stable, neutral process like arbitration
"threatens these efforts and the public services Ontarians rely on,"
says Michael Hurley, the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital
A review of private-sector and public-sector collective agreements for
the last 20 years found that compensation increases in the health
sector are slightly below those of other sectors. Furthermore, health
sector arbitrated settlements are modest, keep pace with inflation, and
are less generous than for other essential service workers.
"Liberal leadership candidates are being urged to focus on economic
recovery and job creation, rather than on public sector restraint
policies that hinge on taking away workers' rights and changing
arbitration so it is no longer independent of government involvement,"
says Hurley. To date, only a few of the leadership candidates have
indicated that they would restore collective bargaining rights for
education sector workers taken away under Bill 115 and not pursue
similar legislation for other public sector workers.
"Regrettably, none of the candidates have said that, if they become
Premier, they won't pursue changes to the arbitration system. If
rebranding is truly a goal for the Liberals, then stepping back from
some of these ideas that have been disastrous for them would set them
on a better course," says Hurley.
For their part, the opposition Tories say they are pursuing radical
changes to arbitration that would remove all neutrality from the
process. Inherently, this is an issue of fairness for health care
workers who have been provided with a fair arbitration process because,
under law, they do not have the right to strike," says Hurley.
OCHU is the hospital division of CUPE in Ontario which represents over
75,000 essential health sector staff at long-term care homes and
hospitals across the province.
SOURCE: Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE)
For further information:
Michael Hurley President OCHU (416) 884-0770
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications (416) 559-9300