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OTTAWA – Last May 13, 2012, approximately 314 housekeeping staff of Aramark at the Ottawa Hospital received an unusual surprise when the services they provide were brought back in-house – making them employees of the Ottawa Hospital. Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 4000 represents staff at the Ottawa Hospital and the union is thrilled with the decision to contract services back in.

Health care facilities across the country cut housekeeping budgets in the 1990s, and as a result, in 2002, the hospital signed a contract with Aramark for its housekeeping services. Private ownership and delivery of health care services often means low pay, poor working conditions and inadequate training, raising concerns on the ability to maintain the delivery of quality services. Almost a decade later, in late 2011, the hospital approached the union with a plan to bring employees back in-house.

Clean hospitals are the backbone of infection control, and hospital support workers keep our hospitals clean. But when all that matters is a private company’s cost-saving bottom line, cleaning standards plummet and virulent diseases spread. When the employer approached us with a proposal to contract back in housekeeping services, we were immediately on board,” said CUPE 4000 Executive Chief Steward Rob Driskell. “Not only does this mean better job security for our members, but it means more accountability for the employer and ultimately, better quality of care for patients – it’s a win/win situation.”

We commend the Ottawa Hospital for recognizing the importance of the services we deliver and for making them a priority.

CUPE 4000 represents health care workers in various establishments of eastern Ontario, including the Ottawa Hospital.

For more information, please contact:

Bruce Waller, CUPE 4000 President: (613) 722-0652
Rob Driskell, CUPE Executive Chief Steward: (613) 722-0652
Paul Boileau, CUPE National Representative: (613) 237-0115
Marjorie Savoie, CUPE Communications: (613) 864-9924