TORONTO, Oct. 14 /CNW/ - Faculty at the Michener Institute of Applied Health Sciences are set to strike at 12:01 Friday, October 16, 2009 if no settlement can be reached in negotiations.
Staff at the Michener Institute, members of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union Local 572, are demanding that long-standing issues around workload, wages and benefits be addressed.
Local 572 President Catherine Brown, a member of the bargaining team, says that the two sides are very far apart at the table.
"Our main goal is to ensure that we continue to provide top quality training and education for hospital professionals in Ontario," Brown said. "However, our workload has become unmanageable, and our wages and benefits are far below those working in the province's community colleges. This inequity must be addressed or both the students and staff will suffer."
The Michener Institute trains professional employees who work in hospital laboratories, diagnostic imaging, critical care and a host of other specialties that are integral to health services. The Michener Institute is funded by Ontario's Ministry of Health.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says that this is a good example of where the province should be investing health care dollars.
"The students of Michener are the future of quality health care in Ontario," Thomas said. "eHealth has shown us that the government knows how to waste money. This is a perfect opportunity to show the people of Ontario that the government knows how to properly spend money in health care... by investing in tomorrow's health professionals."
If a strike occurs this Friday, it will be the first in Michener's 51-year history.
For further information: For further information: Catherine Brown, Local 572 President, (416) 573-8795; Dave Loney, OPSEU Staff Representative, (416) 819-7763