Brampton, Georgetown health workers holding rallies to protest wage cuts, concessions

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Published August 9, 2021 at 8:54 pm

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Hospital workers in Georgetown and Brampton are none too happy with their employers and the provincial government and they’re letting them know about it.

Staff at the Peel Memorial Center (William Osler) in Brampton, Brampton Civic Hospital (William Osler), Georgetown Hospital along with the Etobicoke General Hospital will be holding rallies this week over two days to protest wage cuts and concessions.

Beginning Tuesday, registered practical nurses, personal support workers, environmental cleaners and other hospital employees will be taking part in four socially-distanced rallies on:

Tuesday August 10

Georgetown Hospital 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 1 Princess Anne Dr, Georgetown
Peel Memorial Center (William Osler)1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. 20 Lynch Street, Brampton

Wednesday August 11
Etobicoke General Hospital 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 101 Humber College Boulevard, Etobicoke
Brampton Civic Hospital (William Osler) 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., Peter Robertson Blvd and Velvet Grass Lane. 

Staff at the four locations are among the nearly 70,000 hospital workers across Ontario currently negotiating a new provincial contract.

The workers, who have been going at a “hectic pace” during the last 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, say they feel devalued by both the province and hospital employers.

Their unions, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and SEIU Healthcare, say the hospital employees are being “rewarded” with cuts under a policy (Bill 124) that restricts them to a wage increase less than 1/3 of the rate of inflation.

Bill 124 also impacts the worker’s ability to negotiate “much needed” increases in mental health supports like psychotherapy and post-traumatic stress counselling.

In addition to wanting Bill 124 repealed, the Ontario Hospital Association, the umbrella group for hospital employees, also wants language regarding seniority and retirement packages off the table.

“We were there for patients in the pandemic, don’t betray us,” hospital members said in union press release.

CUPE National President Michael Hancock will be the guest speaker on Wednesday’s rally at the Brampton Civic.

Michael Hurley, President of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions will be speaking at all four rallies.

Negotiations between the parties began in June and will return to the table in September.

Similar rallies are scheduled throughout the province through the end of this month. A protest action is being planned for September 10 in Toronto. 

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