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Ottawa - Cash-strapped by chronic government underfunding and the need to reduce its deficit, bare-bone cuts to housekeeping services at the Civic Campus by the Ottawa Hospital have literally caused a stink. The Ottawa Hospital has cut cleaning in all offices at the Civic Campus to once a week. Amidst the smell caused by perishables disposed in office garbage cans, a doctor privately hired someone to clean some offices due to cuts in housekeeping services. The cuts have also caused a great deal of controversy as Hospital management have retaliated against a Local Union representative by imposing a two week suspension without pay and barring his presence on the Hospital premises for expressing the Unions opposition to the cuts.

“Workplace injuries are on the rise as staff work frantically to try to cope with an unbearable workload” says Mike Lajeunesse, President of CUPE Local 4000 which represents 3,000 office, clerical, support, service and trades workers at the Ottawa Hospital. “Housekeeping services mandated to ensure cleanliness to prevent the spread of infection and communicable diseases in a hospital environment are critically important to ensure the safety of patients, the public and hospital staff” he adds.

“The Union has expressed its opposition to the cuts which will jeopardize safety” says Mr. Lajeunesse. “We have asked users to direct their complaints to management not to housekeeping staff who are having a great deal of difficulty with getting the work done and doing their best to keep the hospital clean. Hospital management has retaliated against a Local Union representative in the housekeeping department for expressing the Unions opposition to the cuts by handing him a 2 week suspension without pay and barring his presence on Hospital premises” says Mr. Lajeunesse. “We are asking for the publics support against cuts due to government underfunding which compromises public safety and access to health care services. Health care is the # 1 public concern. Everyone should know this is happening and express their opposition” he concluded.

For more information, contact:

Mike Lajeunesse, President Local 4000


Jean-Marc Bz0061ire, CUPE National Representative


OPEIU 491/gpb