HAMILTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 6, 2012) - Tomorrow (Friday, December 7, 2012 at 12 noon) health care workers from across Ontario including staff at Hamilton's St. Joseph's Healthcare, begin a winter-long community engagement and rotating action campaign to ensure democratic workplace rights are not taken away by the provincial government.
The Friday, December 7, 2012 community action begins at 12 noon at the Charlton Campus (50 Charlton Avenue East) Hamilton.
In Ontario, health care workers, who do not have the right to strike have, under law, access to free collective bargaining and independent arbitration to help resolve differences. Fair, impartial arbitration allows for the delivery of quality health services without disruption to Ontarians while workplace issues get sorted out.
However, both the Ontario Liberals and Progressive Conservatives (PCs) say they want to change the law and take away the right of more than 250,000 health care workers to impartial arbitration and free collective bargaining.
"The governing Liberals want to give themselves the power to overturn the decisions of respected and independent arbitrators and impose contract terms and we think that's wrong. The PCs would go even further and tear up contracts that have been freely agreed-to by both employers and workers.
"We believe that people in Ontario will agree with us, that these kinds of democratic rights matter to everyone, not just unionized health workers," says Michael Hurley, the president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).
OCHU is the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario. CUPE represents nearly 80,000 Ontario health care staff including registered practical nurses, paramedics, personal support workers, health care aides, and technical, clerical, custodial and trades workers.