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Perth Perth and Smiths Falls District hospital workers have waited patiently for weeks for Ontarios Liberal government to offer them an apology for demeaning their work and for suggesting they are overpaid and unskilled.

Hospital workers who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are fed up with a provincial government that clearly does not understand how critical the work they do is to direct patient care. Hospital workers say they are skilled staff whose work is vital to the well-being of patients. Each day they put themselves at risk by performing duties that place them in direct contact with a myriad of infectious diseases.

If the Liberals and Premier McGuinty refuse to recognize the important contribution tens of thousands of hospital workers make to direct patient care, then they are going to be hearing from us, says Roy Denison, president of CUPE 2198 at the Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital.

Thousands of hospital workers province-wide are taking their displeasure with the Liberal government to the street on Tuesday, November 9. The pickets are a prelude to the start of escalating militant action by Ontario hospital workers determined to defend their jobs.

On October 20th, Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman publicly attacked hospital workers. He stated that Ontario hospitals can cut costs by slashing the wages of hospital workers and contracting out the jobs to for-profit private companies. Wholesale contracting out of hospital support services can only be achieved if the Ontario government passes legislation or regulation overriding hospital collective agreements and ending successor rights.

The Liberals need to acknowledge that we are a valued part of the clinical team in our hospitals. We are calling on the Premier to tell us he will not break our hospital agreements and contract out our jobs, says Denison.

  • WHO: Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital Workers
  • WHAT: My skills are vital to patient care protest/information picket
  • WHEN: Tuesday, November 9, 2004 (12 noon 1 p.m.)
  • WHERE: Smiths Falls District Hospital, 60 Cornelia Station, Smiths Falls
    Perth Hospital, 33 Drummond Street, Perth

For more information, please contact:

Roy Denison, CUPE 2198 - (613) 283-2330
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications - (416) 578-8774