Hospital workers from across Ontario are rallying today (Friday, July 17) to restore basic workplace rights suspended for months by emergency orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bill 195 continues that suspension of these rights for up to 3 years.
Distressed and angered by the rushed Progressive Conservative legislation (Bill 195) that would lay them off or force shift changes with no notice even though they don’t have child care, hospital workers who are CUPE members are also voting on escalating political action.
They are asking the provincial government to respect the contribution they have made to fight the pandemic and not to take away many of their workplace rights indefinitely. Ontario has one of the highest rates of health care worker illness and death to COVID -19 of any country in the world. 6,200 have caught the virus at work and 14 have died.
“We know that Ontarians have been very supportive of health care workers throughout the pandemic. We believe they will join with us in pressuring the government to have our rights restored now that coronavirus is in remission. The ongoing suspension of these rights is an attack on the constitutional rights and the quality of life of these workers,” says Michael Hurley President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) the hospital division of CUPE.
Hurley President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) the hospital division of CUPE.
Today, OCHU/CUPE released a short video (in English and French) explaining the impact of Bill 195 on health care workers. The video can be viewed on the following links: