Pressure from hospital workers may have forced the Ontario government to consider amendments to Bill 8, but union leaders arent declaring victory just yet.
Liberal health minister George Smitherman insists that Bill 8 isnt designed to promote large-scale contracting out of health care services, and has said his government would propose amendments that would calm any fears CUPE members have.
But Ontario Council of Hospital Unions president Michael Hurley remains skeptical.
The Liberals promised to stop P3 hospitals. Instead theyve given the go-ahead for several more in Ontario, says Hurley. Were not the only ones saying the Liberals have a credibility problem. We want to see written amendments that take away government powers [in Bill 8] to gut collective agreements, reduce wages, and undermine our public health system.
Smitherman wont make his amendments public until March 9.
As well, the minister didnt say anything about new powers to force health care providers to reduce budgets, consolidate and privatize services.
With this kind of power, the Liberals remove every obstacle that the citizens and health care workers of Ontario have put in place over the years to block the smooth and rapid privatization of our public health care system, Hurley says.
For more information on the campaign against Bill 8, visit http://cupe.ca/www/bill8campaign