Begins: 26 June 2023
Location: Kitchener, ON
KITCHENER, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– Hundreds of front-line registered nurses, registered practical nurses, medical lab technologists, health-care aides, cleaners, clerical and other hospital staff at St. Mary’s General Hospital have committed to stop Doug Ford’s plan to contract out hospital surgeries and diagnostic procedures to private clinics.
More than 700 workers – constituting a majority of the unionized staff at the hospital – represented by the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), Unifor and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO) have signed a petition calling for a halt to privatization. The workers are instead demanding investments in safe staffing levels through higher wages, and a permanent solution to the staffing crisis.
Monday’s rally will be attended by front-line staff alongside their local and provincial union leaders, who will unfurl a large banner displaying the petition and the signatures of the workers who have signed onto it.
The action comes in response to the Ontario PC’s recent legislation, Bill 60, the deceptively named Your Health Act – that farms out surgeries and diagnostic procedures to private, for-profit clinics.
Hospital staff say this PC plan would devastate the services in most of Ontario’s public hospitals, including Kitchener’s, and threaten public health-care.
Since the provincial government’s push to privatize hospital services and bring in American-style health-care was made public, tens of thousands of hospital staff who are members of CUPE, ONA, OPSEU/SEFPO, SEIU Healthcare, and Unifor began organized campaigns at community hospitals to fight against the plan. The rally on Monday is part of an ongoing series of visible actions by front-line hospital staff in communities across the province.