Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

January 23, 2008 11:24 ET

OPSEU: We Spoke and They Listened-Home Care Patients and Workers Cheer as Government Backs Down on Home Care Contracts

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 23, 2008) - Health care providers and patients are heartened that the Liberal government has quashed the competitive bidding process in home care, OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said today.

Due to intense public pressure, the Ontario government has backed down on its plan to contract out home care in Hamilton, a plan that denied current providers, the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) and St. Joseph's Home Care the opportunity to even bid for the work.

"The government has been forced to change its mind because of the massive outcry from patients and health providers," said Thomas. "This is encouraging news. We spoke and they listened."

VON staff, represented by OPSEU Local 269, fought back. OPSEU and allies held a rally last week, attended by at least 1,500 outraged members of the community, to save home care in Hamilton.

A local Liberal MPP told the media he hadn't slept for two weeks because of the outcry in the community.

The government appears to have heard the message loud and clear. "We have advised the Hamilton-Niagara-Haldimand Brant Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) not to award the contract." said George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long Term Care, in a news release today. They later confirmed this would halt the bidding process province-wide.

"The competitive bidding process, brought in by Mike Harris, has badly harmed patient care and driven up costs," said Thomas. "Good riddance to it."

The Ontario Public Service Employees Union represents workers in community care access centres across Ontario.

Contact Information

    David Cox
    Communications Officer - Agent de Communications
    (416) 788-9197