CUPE Ontario has pledged its full support to the coalition of five major health unions, including CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE), as they gear up for a province-wide campaign of resistance to the Ford government’s “three-step plan” for privatizing hospital care services.

“Our union will raise its voice on behalf of all 280,000 CUPE members in Ontario, because they are among the strongest advocates anywhere for our public system of health care. We all need and rely on our health care services and we all stand to be hurt when they are privatized,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn.

He promised to help mobilize support throughout the union as part of the fight against the Ford government’s privatization plans, criticizing them and the premier for introducing greater inequality in health care and worsening staff shortages.

“Privatization is in no way a solution to the crisis in our health care system – a crisis that is, incidentally, entirely of Doug Ford’s own making,” Hahn continued. “His government has starved our hospitals of funding and created a staffing crisis by keeping wages low, a choice that affected women workers in particular.

“Now he tells us that privatization will solve those very problems. But we know that privatization will only worsen staff shortages and rob our public health care of badly needed resources. Ontarians won’t be fooled.”

CUPE Ontario Secretary-Treasurer Yolanda McClean affirmed the entire union’s backing to the fight against Ford’s plans to privatize of health care in the province: “As Ontarians, we value our public health system too much to see the Ford government dismantle it. We know what’s needed: investment in hospitals and services; an end to the staffing crisis that has had such a devastating impact on patient care and on workers, especially women workers; and an end to the private delivery of our health services.”

Ontario already spends the least of any province on health services. Under the Ford government’s privatization plans, already scarce health dollars will be siphoned into private clinics, even though privatized clinical services have been documented as leading to poorer health care outcomes, loss of care quality and increased costs.

“We won’t stand for a system that prioritizes profits over people’s health and we won’t tolerate much-needed investment in hospital services being funnelled into private care,” said Hahn.