Proposed privatization of public services in West Nipissing comes at high cost - CUPE

    NORTH BAY, ON, July 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Proposed privatization of public
services in the municipal and hospital sectors will come at a high cost to
residents of West Nipissing, including the loss of good local jobs and
potential health risks, according to the Canadian Union of Public Employees
(CUPE) Ontario.
    "The municipality of West Nipissing and Mayor Joanne Savage are mistaken
if they think money will be saved by replacing public service workers and
contracting out those services to private operators," said Sid Ryan, President
of CUPE Ontario. "It's been proven over and over again in municipalities
across Canada that privatized services cost more and deliver less, and result
in the loss of good jobs."
    Ryan says that because private operators must make a profit, many employ
non-union, low-waged workers who get no benefits or pensions, making it hard
for them to raise a family with dignity and security. Ryan and local advocates
are also concerned that the West Nipissing General Hospital is contracting out
housekeeping jobs to private operators as people retire.
    "Studies in Britain show that when private companies take over the
cleaning of medical facilities, infections rise dramatically among patients,"
said Ryan. "With Ontario experiencing a rise in deaths from the C. difficile
superinfection, hospitals must do more like Burlington's Joseph Brant has
done, instead of cutting back and contracting out cleaning services."
Following the death of 62 patients from C. difficile, Joseph Brant hospital
established a standard of cleaning each patient's room twice a day and added
$1 million into hiring more cleaning staff and providing them with better
disinfectant. He said that's the direction West Nipissing General should be
taking, not contracting out cleaner to for-profit operators.
    Tonight, CUPE Ontario is putting on a free rock concert with Trooper in
Sturgeon Falls to celebrate and bring home the importance of public services
in building and strengthening communities.
    Ryan said the Trooper event, which is the first of a series of 'Rock for
Public Services' concerts across the province, are meant to remind communities
that their hard-earned tax dollars have built, paid for and delivered public
services. "Residents need to stand up for quality public services and not let
politicians sell them off through privatization, contracting out or relocation
of these jobs and services," he added.

For further information:

For further information: Sid Ryan, CUPE Ontario President, (416)
209-0066; Collette Proctor, CUPE Rep, North Bay, (705) 662-1613; Valerie
Dugale, CUPE Communications, (647) 225-3685

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Ontario Regional Office

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