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These workers mostly women have dedicated themselves to providing the most basic, intimate personal care to
The alternative, according to Ontario Health Minister George Smitherman who responded to a question from MPP Peter Tabuns in the Legislature last week, is for the workers to move into home care or long-term where wages are significantly lower, often at poverty level, and benefits may not even exist.
I cannot believe that Bridgepoint is prepared to throw workers who have years, if not decades, of experience on the trash heap, said CUPE Local 79 President Ann Dembinski. The hospital has not provided any evidence that replacing these workers with registered practical nurses (RPNs) will improve patient care.
Dembinski questioned the wisdom of making a complete shift from PSPs, as they are called at Bridgepoint, to RPNs when health dollars are so tight and nurses are hard to find.
The only way Bridgepoint can meet its plan to switch from PSPs to RPNs over 18 months is by paying much more in wages. Where are they getting the money? Where is the balanced care that can support patient needs with a mix of staff? And, how long will this new structure last, she asked, noting that only 10 years ago the hospital made another wholesale change of staff by bringing in PSPs to replace nurses.
For more information, contact:
Ann Dembinski, President, CUPE Local 79, 416-977-1629