Thunder Bay rallies for fair hospital worker contracts

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A large group of people standing outside in the cold holding union flags

In the heart of Thunder Bay, hospital workers represented by Unifor, SEIU and CUPE rallied to demand the Ontario Hospital Association negotiate a collective agreement that ensures healthcare workers are compensated fairly for their tireless efforts, especially in the challenging times of recent years.

"Our hospital workers are the backbone of healthcare, providing essential services to our community,” Samia Hashi, Unifor Ontario Regional Director. “It's time they receive the fair contract they deserve. We will continue to push for justice and equity for our hospital workers.”

Unifor hospital locals met with the employer in Thunder Bay the week of February 27 to lead the central negotiations and bargain local issues.  The three unions are advocating for wage increases that exceed inflation, equitable benefits, and enhanced premiums for challenging shifts. 

Negotiations have reached an impasse as the Ontario Hospital Association insists on concessions that would undermine job security and reduce patient care. Despite direct negotiations extending over weeks, economic proposals from CUPE and SEIU have been met with a disconcerting silence. The refusal to negotiate a fair wage increase in line with the cost of living, or to address workloads, highlights the growing concern within the sector.

“The message is clear. We will not accept concessions. Our hospital workers are going forward – not backwards,” said Hashi.

The Thunder Bay rally marked the second of many actions as the unions continue to work towards an agreement that honours and respects hospital workers.

For photos from the rally click here