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OTTAWA Ottawa Hospital negotiators walked away from negotiations earlier this week with Local 4000 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing 3,000 support, service, office, clerical and trades employees at the hospital. Hospital Chief Administrative Officer Gino Picciano ordered his bargaining team to quit the talks after the union refused to accept concessions, says Jean-Marc Bezaire, chief negotiator and CUPE National Representative.

For a 3 year contract, the Hospital was demanding reductions in benefit coverage and had tabled no wage increase, says Jean-Marc Bezaire, chief negotiator and spokesperson for CUPE. We will not negotiate takeaways.

The settlement proposed by the Hospital was substantially less than a settlement negotiated between CUPE and the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) covering some 30,000 other Hospital workers across the province, represented by CUPE, adds Bezaire. In that settlement, Hospital workers across the province received a 2.5%, 3.0%, 3.0% wage increase and benefit improvements over the term of a 3-year collective agreement.

The Ottawa Hospital says its final offer is reasonable and good for employee morale while nothing could be further from the truth, says Bezaire.

The Hospital Administration has its head in the sand and is ignoring ever-increasing workloads, employee stress, cutbacks, and reductions in staff, says Bezaire.

CUPE has informed members of the employers demands and will be proceeding to arbitration to resolve outstanding issues. Information pickets are planned for the hospitals three Civic, General, Riverside campuses on May 15th to coincide with a campaign against privatization of health care on National Medicare Day.


For more information contact:
Jean-Marc Bezaire, CUPE National Representative
Chief Negotiator, Local 4000
613-237-0115 (office) - 613-566-1596 (pager)
Robert Lamoureux, CUPE Communications