SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

SEIU Canada (Service Employees International Union - Canada)

November 26, 2009 09:51 ET

SEIU: Hospital CEO Infighting Worsens Nursing Shortage

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2009) - The Ontario Hospitals Association has killed a plan to solve nursing shortages and save the province money because of competition between rival hospital CEOs, according to a union representing 46,000 healthcare workers in the province.

The plan to help hospitals retain nurses was torpedoed by the association because it could not get divided CEOs to cooperate amid tense talks behind closed doors that involved 37 hospitals and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

"Patients are suffering and hospital budgets are bleeding because these overpriced CEOs cannot play together in the sandbox," said Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Local 1, which proposed the plan during negotiations about cost savings.

Carol McDowell, Vice-President of SEIU Local 1 Canada's Registered Practical Nurses Division, said: "With hospitals in the red and emergency rooms closing, we came forward with innovative proposals to contain costs and improve quality in tough times," she said.

Car This plan would have helped hospitals recruit and retain nurses and eased shortages," she said.

After the talks collapsed last night, the union pointed the finger at the CEOs of major hospitals for being more interested in gaining an edge over other hospitals and justifying their extravagant salaries than cooperating to save health system dollars.

Hospital executives represented in the talks included Mt Sinai CEO Joseph Mapa, who pocketed more than $700,000 in taxpayer money last year, and Humber River Regional Hospital CEO Reuben Devlin, took home more than $450,000 in tax dollars.

Before the CEOs pulled the plug, the plan for a province-wide system to mentor and empower Registered Practical Nurses had been given an enthusiastic welcome by executives at smaller rural and suburban hospitals.

The plan would create a more level playing field between hospitals seeking to attract nurses and also establish a new system for nurses to sound the alarm when shortages threaten patient care. It was part of a range of proposals put forward by SEIU to improve standards of care and job quality in hospitals while saving tens of millions dollars.

The union is now expected to take the proposals direct to a government arbitrator.



HOSPITALS IMPACTED:

Alexandra Marine and General Hospital
Baycrest Centre
for Geriatric Care
Bluewater Health
Brant Community Healthcare System
Cambridge Memorial Hospital
Collingwood General and Marine Hospital
Haliburton Highlands Health Services
Halton Healthcare Services Headwaters Health Care
Centre
Hotel Dieu Shaver Health & Rehabiliation
Humber River Regional Hospital
Kirkland and District Hospital
Lennox
and Addington County General Hospital
Listowel Memorial Hospital
MIC's Group of Health Services
Mount Sinai Hospital
Muskoka-East Parry Sound Health Services
Niagara Health System
North Bay General Hospital.
St. Joseph's Treatment
Centre
Nipissing Detox Centre
Crisis Intervention Centre North Simcoe
Hospital Alliance Huronia District Hospital
Penetanguishene Hospital North York General
Hospital Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital
Quinte Healthcare
Corporation
Runnymede Healthcare Centre
Sensenbrenner Hospital Southlake Regional Health Centre
St. Joseph's Care Group, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
The McCausland Hospital
The Royal Victoria Hospital Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre
Toronto East General Hospital
West Haldimand General Hospital
West Park Healthcare
Centre
West Parry Sound Health Centre
William Osler Health Centre
Women's College Hospital

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