BELLEVILLE, ON, April 19 /CNW/ - Hospital staff and patients rallied today in Belleville over runaway hospital CEO pay at a time when budgets are being tightened.
The rally called for urgent steps to protect rural hospital services and demanded a cap on the pay of the new CEO of Quinte Health Care (QHC).
Hospital executive salaries have reached new records in Ontario despite a squeeze on budgets and patient services in Quinte. The provincial government is promising a crackdown after pay at Toronto hospitals jumped by up to 50% for CEOs over the last five years.
"With hospital budgets being squeezed, how can you justify a 50% increase in compensation for a CEO? The sense of entitlement is astounding," said Sharleen Stewart, head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents hospital workers at QHC.
The rally called for the salary of the new CEO of QHC to be set in line with the pay for the outgoing chief executive. Mary Clare Egberts took over as CEO of QHC on April 1 and comes from a Toronto hospital that has seen double-digit pay increases for executives over the last five years. QHC has not disclosed her salary.
"We welcome the appointment of the new CEO but hope she does not bring with her the sense of entitlement we have seen at Toronto hospitals" said Ms. Stewart.
The rally called on the Ontario Hospitals Association to protect rural hospital services and to reach an agreement with frontline hospital workers in Quinte who have been without a contract since last year.
SEIU Local 1 represents 46,000 healthcare workers in Ontario.
QHC encompasses hospital sites in Belleville, Bancroft, Picton, and Quinte West and serves 160,000 residents.
The provincial government recently released figures for hospital executive salaries that showed: Robert Bell, CEO of University Health Network in Toronto took home $830,948, a 24 per cent increase over a mere three years; while Robert Devitt, CEO of Toronto East General Hospital pocketed $460,852, enjoying a staggering 53 per cent increase in compensation over 5 years.
SOURCE SEIU Healthcare
For further information: For further information: Pat Chastang, (416) 709-0501