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The McGuinty government must fund hospital deficits and stop cutting hospital services and jobs, hospital workers with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said today.

The McGuinty government is presiding over a chaotic restructuring of health care services by not giving hospitals the money they need and forcing them to cuts services, programs and jobs,” said Mike Tracey, President of CUPE 786 at St. Joseph’s Healthcare at a media conference this morning. 

Hamilton hospitals are poised to cut 396 positions in the coming months, through job cuts, lay-offs and attrition.  Already, beds have been cut, Emergency Rooms have been closed and services and programs cut, as Hamilton hospitals scramble to “restructure” in the face of massive deficits.

You can’t cut 396 positions and not affect the quality of health care in Hamilton,” said Dave Murphy, President of CUPE 4800, representing workers at the five sites of Hamilton Health Sciences.  “People across the province are fighting to stop cuts to their local hospitals.  How many cuts will Hamiltonians take?”

Tracey said that CUPE hospital workers are coming together to stop cuts and demand the McGuinty government erase hospital deficits – the source of cuts and upheaval in health care across Ontario.

We’re very concerned that more cuts are coming, unless the community sends a strong message to the McGuinty government,” Tracey said.  “We’re holding an emergency meeting for CUPE hospital workers on February 17 to start getting that message across.  We’re not going to let our health care system die a death of a thousand cuts.  We’re bringing our members together and we’re going to raise the alarm in the community.”