Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

May 16, 2008 10:35 ET

OPSEU Calls on Minister of Health to Keep His No-Layoff Promise at Rouge Valley Health System as Notice Is Given to More Than 130 Workers

AJAX, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 16, 2008) - OPSEU is calling on Health Minister George Smitherman to keep his April 10 promise that no layoffs will take place at the Rouge Valley Health System.

Late Thursday afternoon the hospital issued layoff notice to more than 130 unionized workers at the hospital. The minister and hospital have both previously said these jobs could be reduced through attrition.

"While some workers may be eligible to take early retirement, and some may take up existing vacancies in the hospital, it is up to the health minister and the CEO of the hospital to live up to their recent pledge that no one will lose their jobs," said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

OPSEU recently struck an agreement with the Rouge Valley Hospital and Central East Local Health Integration Network that no changes would take place before a July 11 Judicial Review. Yesterday's layoffs will not take effect before that date and can be revoked depending on the outcome of the review.

The union is arguing the LHIN failed to fulfill the terms of its mandate by making service decisions before any disclosure or public consultation on the recent cuts to 20 mental health beds in Ajax-Pickering. The unions expect the court to hear the case July 11.

"It's a high growth community where there are already shortages. This will just make it more difficult to recruit and retain the professionals Rouge Valley needs, now and in the future," said Thomas.

While the hospital has announced cuts to 20 mental health beds at the Ajax-Pickering Hospital, there has been no disclosure as to the full impact on health services by the total number of job cuts announced yesterday by the hospital.

"It's time the Minister and Rouge Valley CEO Rik Ganderton come clean and tell us the truth as to where these cuts are coming from," said Thomas. "This is not the transparency we came to expect from the LHIN, the hospital and the ministry of health."

Contact Information

    Rick Janson
    (416) 525-3324 (Cell) or (416) 443-8888 ext 8383 (Office)