Majority of Canadians want hospital cleaning kept public - Nanos poll

    OTTAWA, Oct. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - A majority of Canadians trust public union
employees over private contractor employees to keep their hospitals clean from
infections, according to a new poll commissioned by the Canadian Union of
Public Employees (CUPE).
    The poll, conducted by Nanos Research, found that 51.3% of Canadians
preferred public union employees, while 34% preferred private contractors
providing cleaning services in hospitals and 14.8% were unsure.
    Canadians prefer public union employees providing hospital cleaning
services over private contractors in every demographic, regional and party
preference category with the exception of Quebec.
    Health care acquired infections are one of the most significant
infectious disease challenges in Canada, affecting one in nine Canadian
hospital patients each year. By not enforcing the Canada Health Act, the
Harper government has allowed increased privatization of hospital cleaning
    "When all that matters is a private company's cost-saving bottom line,
cleaning standards plummet and virulent diseases spread," said Paul Moist,
CUPE national president. "Clearly, a majority of Canadians recognize that our
public, unionized employees are committed to diligently providing cleaning
services within hospitals that keep the general public safe."
    Support for publicly provided services is highest in Atlantic Canada
(61.3%), Canadians aged 18-29 (58%), NDP supporters (60.5%) and women (52.5%).
Demographic areas traditionally associated with the Harper base, including the
West, Canadians aged 40-60, and those who identified as Conservative voters
also want public union employees to deliver hospital cleaning services.
    "Canadians want their hospitals to remain in public hands," said Moist.
"We are calling on all parties to state categorically that they will reject
further privatization of health care cleaning services."

    The poll results are based on a random telephone survey of
1,200 Canadians from September 20th to September 22nd, 2008. The margin of
accuracy for a sample of 1,200 is +/-2.8%, 19 times out of 20. For more
details on the poll please see the attachment. For more information on polling
technique please visit

    The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada's largest union
with 570,000 members in the following sectors: health, municipal, education
(K-12 and post-secondary), libraries, transportation, energy and media (in

                                  (n) NANOS
                        STAT SHEET - RIDEAU INSTITUTE

                               Given the choice would you trust (ROTATE) an
                                employee of a private contactor or a public
                                  union employee of a hospital to keep a
                                    hospital clean from infections?
                                         Private        Public
                               Total    contractor       union      Unsure

                             Responses  Percentage  Percentage  Percentage
    Region        Sept 27-29      1201        34.0        51.3        14.8
                  Atlantic         120        24.4        61.3        14.3
                  Quebec           296        49.3        39.0        11.7
                  Ontario          355        29.2        53.8        17.0
                  West             430        30.1        54.8        15.1

    Gender        Male             589        34.9        50.0        15.1
                  Female           612        33.1        52.5        14.4

    Age           18 to 29         236        29.3        58.0        12.7
                  30 to 39         231        36.8        47.5        15.7
                  40 to 49         259        33.5        48.0        18.5
                  50 to 59         206        33.5        57.0         9.6
                  60 plus          271        36.6        47.4        16.1

    Vote Profile  Liberal          270        30.5        57.7        11.8
                  Conservative     394        37.7        46.4        15.8
                  NDP              206        26.0        60.5        13.5
                  Bloc             100        41.7        50.4         7.9
                  Green             85        29.6        57.1        13.3
                  Undecided        146        38.7        36.7        24.5

               Random Telephone Survey of 1,201 Canadians from
                   September 27th to September 29th, 2008
           The margin of accuracy for a sample of 1,201 is +/-2.8%,
                             19 times out of 20.
              - Page 1

For further information:

For further information: Allison Gifford, CUPE Communications, (613)
484-2571 (cell); Sébastien Goulet, CUPE Communications, (613) 808-0675 (cell)

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