Ontario unions to form alliance for respect for 75,000 hospital workers



March 23, 2018

TORONTO – Leaders from three of Ontario’s largest unions are meeting Monday and Tuesday (March 26 and March 27, 2018) in Toronto to work together to move stalled provincial negotiations with Ontario’s hospitals.

Collectively the Canadian Union of Public Employees, SEIU Healthcare and Unifor are trying to negotiate a provincial contract on behalf of 75,000 nurses, personal support workers, porters, administrative staff and dietary, cleaning and trades staff at more than a hundred Ontario hospitals.

The unique and historic meeting of the unions will bring together delegates from local unions and leaders from the three unions to discuss a joint strategy for bargaining. Local union leaders attending next week’s meeting are voting on several motions to support a joint campaign to mobilize against the hospitals’ demands for concessions. 

Working together is rare for the unions, which normally bargain independently with the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) - the hospital employers’ umbrella group. However, the hospitals’ lack of respect and demands for contract concessions at all three of the union provincial bargaining tables has prompted SEIU Healthcare, Unifor, and CUPE leadership to propose a bargaining coalition under the banner of ‘Together for Respect’.

Media are invited to a briefing Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. and are welcome to attend the Tuesday morning meeting segment that begins at 9 a.m.

What: Unifor, SEIU Healthcare, and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) joint strategy meeting on hospital bargaining

When: Tuesday, March 27, 2018, (Media conference at 10:30 a.m., meeting begins at 9 a.m.)

Where: Sheraton Centre, 123 Queen St. West, Toronto in the Birchwood Ballroom

The dedication of front-line staff is a big reason why Ontario’s hospitals are the most efficient in the country and patients continue to receive quality care despite dangerous overcrowding, chronic understaffing and increasing workplace violence. But that’s not translating to respect in the workplace or the bargaining table, and this needs to change, say the unions.

For more information please contact:

Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications           416-559-9300                    syeadon@cupe.ca

Corey Johnson, SEIU Healthcare                    416-529-8909                    c.johnson@seiuhealthcare.ca

Asma Farooq, Unifor                                       647-327-9371                    Asma.Farooq @unifor.org