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TORONTO Frontline workers at St. Josephs Health Centre are shocked that 61 of their jobs are being eliminated after senior management received raises of up to 80%, says CUPE Local 1144 President Richard Saladziak.

The hospital announced today that 47 CUPE members, ranging from registered practical nurses and health care attendants, to cleaners and custodial staff, will receive layoff notices. Fourteen positions that are currently vacant will be eliminated completely.

Our members are very upset that these layoffs are happening at a time when politicians at every level have talked about the importance of frontline hospital workers, said Saladziak. Were just heading into winter cold and flu season. After SARS, we all know how important these workers are to hospital operations. Theyre taking out the people who empty bedpans and wash patients at a time when theyre needed most.

Just last year, senior management at St. Josephs gave themselves raises of up to 80%, even though they knew the current $6 million deficit was looming, Saladziak said. Three hospital vice-presidents received increases ranging from $46,000 to $85,000 in 2003 over 2002, according to mandatory salary disclosures. The layoffs announced today affected only three management positions.


For more information, please contact:

Richard Saladziak, President
CUPE Local 1144

Pat Daley
CUPE Communications
416-292-3999 Ext 264