OTTAWA, ON– Merrilee Fullerton issued her traditional season’s greetings card to constituents. This year, hospital staff from Ottawa’s Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital and the Renfrew Victoria Hospital have a special holiday card delivery of their own for her.
On Monday, December 19 (2022) at 11:30 a.m. front-line Ottawa hospital workers will pop by MPP Fullerton’s constituency office (240 Michael Cowpland Drive, Suite 100, Kanata) to drop off their large-size “all we want for Christmas, is no appeal of the Bill 124 decision” holiday greeting card.
Now that the Ontario Superior Court agrees that the Bill interferes with hospital workers’ right to freely bargain wages and has struck the wage cap down, hospital nurses, support, clerical and paramedical staff, members of five large health care unions are urging the PC’s not to appeal the decision.
All hospital workers want for Christmas is for the PC government to invest time and funding into working on staffing solutions along with their unions, not into fighting them in court.
While season’s greetings focus on merry and bright it’s hard for hospital front-line staff who are struggling with surging patient levels, skeleton staffing, and the continuing exodus of co-workers, to feel festive, says Ed Rouselle, a registered practical nurse and president of CUPE 4540 at Bruyère.
The greeting card that asks the MPP not to appeal the Bill 124 decision, is a light-hearted approach to the serious hospital patient and staff crises Ontario faces not only his holiday season but into the New Year. A dire situation that the PC government has taken no action to resolve.
“Hospital staff have told the PC government and MPP Fullerton that Bill 124 is gutting the morale of those of us on the health care front lines. So many of our co-workers are leaving their jobs as their real wages are cut by our MPP and this government,” says Sarah Anderson, a Medical Radiation Technologist at the Renfrew hospital and president of CUPE 1548.
Hospital workers in Ontario do not have the right to strike and the current patient and staffing crisis prevents them taking time to protest outside their hospital workplaces or at Queen’s Park. In addition to a holiday card drop for MPPs and the Premier this week, hospital workers are wearing a sticker saying
Bill 124 NO MORE as a visible sign of protest against the PC’s intention to appeal a law (Bill124) the court deems unconstitutional because it infringes on fundamental charter rights. “It’s a symbolic but important act of protest. One the PC government should pay close attention to,” says Dave Verch an Ottawa area RPN and first vice-president of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions.
In November, CUPE, SEIU, ONA, OPSEU and Unifor which together represent 295,000 Ontario health-care staff joined forces, issuing an SOS appeal to the Premier and health minister to adopt the unions’ solutions to stabilize Ontario’s crashing health care system and retain exhausted staff. The unions are committed to continue joint actions in the New Year.
For more information:
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications 416-559-9300 firstname.lastname@example.org