Front-line hospital registered practical nurses, personal support workers, porters, clerical, and other staff from across Ontario in Ottawa for a special bargaining conference are giving back beyond the hospital walls with a large donation to the Ottawa Mission, (today) Thursday, April 20.

The more than 200 hospital leaders with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) - the country’s largest health care union – see first-hand the detrimental impacts of growing homelessness, hunger and poverty on the health of people in our communities, province-wide. 

Modest-wage earners themselves, hospital staff know the challenges of rising prices for food, transportation, and shelter and why it is important to give back to those who are more vulnerable to poverty and homelessness.

“Like those at the Ottawa Mission, hospital staff help those who needed it most. We are beyond proud that our hospital union colleagues here in Ottawa this week have chosen to raise funds and donate to one of our community agencies that really does make a difference for many people who are struggling and getting them back on their feet,” says Sarah Anderson, a Medical Radiation Technologist at the Renfrew hospital and president of CUPE 1548.

The shortage of affordable housing in Ottawa has increased both homelessness and hunger in the city over the last decade. Spiking inflation has had a devasting impact with thousands of people at risk of going hungry.

“In our hospitals we deal with the human health costs of not having adequate shelter, not having enough food and the deterioration in people’s mental health as a result. Our provincial government is failing on many levels including their lack of interest in valuing and retaining hospital staff to increased community services and supports,” says John Jackson, president of CUPE 2119 at the Perth/Smiths Falls District Hospital and the eastern Ontario area representative on CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU-CUPE).

OCHU bargains a provincial contract for more than 40,000 front-line hospital staff at over 60 Ontario hospitals.

WHO:      Front-line hospital staff represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and representatives from the Ottawa Mission

WHAT:    Cheque donation presentation to the Ottawa Mission

WHERE: Chateau Laurier – Ballroom

WHEN:    Thursday April 20, 2023 – 12:15 p.m.