Category: Health and Safety

Bringing hospital, long-term care staff sick with COVID-19 back to work early, dangerous way to deal with staffing crisis say CUPE and SEIU

Two of Ontario’s largest health care unions are asking the provincial government to rescind a new pandemic guidance order they believe creates an unacceptable level of risk for hospital patients, long-term care residents and health care staff by enabling hospitals and long-term care employers to order potentially sick or still infectious health care workers with COVID-19 back to work.

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Unions say bringing back staff with Covid dangerous to patients and workers

Today, CUPE and SEIU wrote to the Premier, the Minister of Health, the head of the Ontario Hospital Association, and the Chief Medical Officer of Health asking them to stop the practice of bringing in workers who are still in their Covid isolation period. We ask them to choose alternatives, like offering staff enhanced premium pay. And if they go ahead, we ask for numerous safeguards, including separate change and break areas and elastomeric respirators.

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Hospital plans to keep staff exposed to COVID working while awaiting test results are dangerous for patients

Warnings from Ontario’s health care front-lines of staff shortages and inadequate personal protective equipment to deal with airborne infection went unheeded for nearly 20 months by the provincial government.  “Now the staffing crisis is so severe at some hospitals that they require staff directly exposed to COVID to work while awaiting test results, to keep ERs and beds open. This is a dangerous practice which puts at risk patients, particularly those with compromised immune systems and other staff,” says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU-CUPE).

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Union members must grieve vaccination policies, court rules, declining to intervene in UHN vaccination policy

The Superior Court of Justice for Ontario, in a decision issued today, refused to accept the request from employees of the University Health Network to strike down the hospital’s mandatory vaccination policy.
CUPE intervened in this hearing and specifically asked that the part of the policy that allows the hospital to fire employees be struck down. This was also denied.
Employees must rely on the grievance procedure and not the courts in order to resolve these matters, the court ruled.

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Stop violence against hospital workers

Grievances and Arbitrations