Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

April 24, 2007 10:53 ET

Media Advisory: New OPSEU Leadership to Present to Standing Committee on Health Bill Today

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 24, 2007) - New Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) President Warren "Smokey" Thomas will make a submission today to the Standing Committee on Social Policy on Bill 171 - the Health Systems Improvement Act, 2006. Joining him will be the union's new First Vice president-Treasurer, Patty Rout.

Thomas, a registered practical nurse from Kingston, and Rout, a hospital laboratory technologist from Oshawa, were both elected to their new positions April 20.

The OPSEU representatives will tell the Standing Committee that the union's concerns with the bill fall into four main areas:

1. The accountability of the new Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion;

2. The plan to transfer of about 600 public health lab workers out of the Ontario Public Service and into the new agency;

3. The omission of a strong worker safety role for the new agency; and

4. The broad definition of psychotherapy and its sweeping implications for many public sector professions.

Bill 171 ignores key recommendations in Justice Archie Campbell's final report on SARS - including the need to adopt the precautionary principle in health care settings, and to bring worker health and safety into the new agency, the union says.

OPSEU represents 120,000 workers, including the 600 government employees affected by this bill, and about 30,000 health care workers in all. These also include professionals working in Ontario hospitals, mental health, long-term care facilities, public health, community health, and ambulance workplaces.



Date: Tuesday April 24, 2007
Time: 5:00 pm
Where: Committee Room 1, Queen's Park


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