Patient health and safety could be compromised at Humber River Hospital

We can't afford to cut corners as far as infection control is concerned… 

TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - There is tension between Teamsters Local Union 419 and the management of Toronto's Humber River Hospital. The fact is that in August 2015, management informed the union that once the new hospital site is opened, it planned to outsource a part of the environmental services work to a private company, the Morrison Compass Group.

Not only does this decision violate the collective agreement, it also raises concerns for the public. Unlike the 200 Teamsters members working directly for the hospital, the some 60 employees of the Morrison Compass Group may not follow the hospital's strict infection control policies.

"Our members are professionals who understand the importance of their work," explains Tim Oribine, Local Union 419 business agent. "Now that part of the environmental services work will be outsourced to the private sector, we're worried that the health and safety of patients, our members and other hospital workers will be compromised."

Furthermore, the 60 employees of the Morrison Compass Group will not benefit from the good working conditions negotiated by the Teamsters for its members.

"The hospital's slogan is Patient Care Reinvented and that doesn't mean they can cut corners on infection control," adds the union representative. "We all know that private companies want to keep costs low, but shouldn't at the expense of the health and safety of patients and workers, especially in a publically funded institution." 

A family affair?

Over the past few years, the Humber River Hospital has held internal fundraising campaigns, seeking donations from workers, to finance construction of the new facility. Members of the Teamsters Union were happy to contribute to these campaigns but are now very disappointed with the turn of events.

"We're asking the public to stop making donations to the hospital until further notice," states Mr. Oribine. "We're going to start a petition to make the hospital's managers accountable and force them to end this initiative since it seems that the contract with the Morrison Compass Group is still not signed."


The Teamsters Union will hold a demonstration on October 17 at 10:00 am, in front of the new Humber River Hospital site in order to express its dissatisfaction and to raise public awareness of this issue amongst others. Leaflets will also be handed out to passers-by.

"I'm concerned about the future of hospitals in Ontario," concludes Mr. Oribine. "We're leading this fight for our members, of course, but also to raise awareness among the general population about an important issue that is compromising its health and safety in hospitals."

The Humber River Hospital sites cover an area serving 850,000 people. The hospital has 549 beds, and employs 3,000 people, including about 700 physicians.

The Teamsters represents 120,000 members in Canada in all industries. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, with which Teamsters Canada is affiliated, has 1.4 million members in North America.


SOURCE Teamsters Canada

For further information: Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Public Relations, Telephone: 450 682-5521, Cell: 514 609-5101, Email:

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