Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)

September 22, 2017 06:00 ET

Media Advisory: Bargaining for 27,000 hospital staff breaks down over workplace violence; 10 a.m. media briefing today, Queen's Park media studio

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 22, 2017) - Contract negotiations between the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) abruptly broke down yesterday following the hospitals' refusal to address the issue of workplace violence.

Negotiations for a new provincial contract for 27,000 Ontario hospital staff represented by CUPE that include nurses, cleaners and dietary, administrative and trades staff at 120 hospital sites in communities across Ontario, began in June.

CUPE's Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) will provide an update on negotiations today (Friday, September 22, 2017) at 10 a.m. in the Queen's Park media studio. Participants include Maggie Jewell, a nurse with more than 30 years experience, OCHU president Michael Hurley and OCHU secretary-treasurer Sharon Richer.

Protection from reprisal for speaking out, improving health and safety measures such as providing personal alarms for all staff, enhancing internal systems to flag violent patients and increasing staffing levels in emergency departments and psychiatric units where staff are vulnerable to assault, are key priorities for CUPE's hospital sector members.

Although other sectors have seen decreases in workplace violence, incidents in health care are rising in Ontario. Nearly half of direct care hospital staff report being assaulted by patients or patients' family members each year. It is widely acknowledged that incidents of workplace violence are under-reported because of fear of employer reprisal which hinders health care staff from reporting violent incidents.

Contact Information

  • Michael Hurley
    President OCHU
    416.884.0770

    Sharon Richer
    Secretary-Treasurer OCHU
    705.280.0911

    Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communications
    416.559.9300