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Niagara Falls Readying for a looming attack on their jobs, hospital workers from across Ontario are in Niagara Falls beginning Wednesday, to determine and adopt a plan of action to combat any moves by the provincial government to break their collective agreements and end successor rights.

Last week, an Ontario government commissioned report, that outlined the wholesale contracting-out of hospital support workers jobs as a quick and dirty means for cost cutting in hospitals, was leaked to the media.

Its clear that the provincial health minister does not value the contribution of hospital support workers. He has not ruled out the breaking of hospital support workers collective agreements and eliminating our successor rights as a way to reduce costs. But the minister needs to be clear that, within the hospital sector in Ontario, workers have a culture of resistance. And, if this is the scheme he is planning, hospital support workers will fight to protect their jobs and quality public health care, says Michael Hurley, the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)/CUPE.

Coincidently, the consultants report was leaked just as OCHU/CUPE and other labour unions, which collectively represent tens of thousands of hospital support workers, head to the bargaining table with the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) at the end of October. Although the OHA has refused to bargain jointly with CUPE and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1.on a move that would save money hospital workers from both unions will be allies in a fight to stop contracting out and protect successor rights, says Hurley.

To that end, CUPE National President Paul Moist and SEIU Local 1.on President Charlene Stewart, will be stressing the importance of a coordinated strategy to stop any attacks on hospital support workers jobs, when they address delegates attending the annual OCHU hospital workers convention at the Niagara Falls Sheraton Fallsview.

  • WHO:
    Michael Hurley, President OCHU/CUPE
    Paul Moist, National President Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
    Charlene Stewart, President SEIU Local 1.on

  • WHAT:
    OCHU Hospital Workers Convention

  • WHEN:
    Wednesday, September 29 Friday, October 1, 2004 9:00 a.m.
    Michael Hurley speaks at 9:15 a.m.
    Paul Moist speaks at 1:30 p.m.
    Charlene Stewart speaks at 1:50 p.m.

  • WHERE:
    Sheraton Fallsview, Niagara Falls, Ontario


For more information, please contact:
Michael Hurley, President, OCHU, (416) 884-0770
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, (416) 578-8774