OSHAWA, ON – CUPE 6364 workers at Lakeridge Health rallied in Oshawa today, protesting “cuts and chaos” in response to provincial underfunding of hospitals. According to the union, hospital management has been eliminating full-time housekeeping and clerical positions, and overloading other workers with additional responsibilities.

“This is shameful behavior by hospital management, to cut staff even as we are at the end of our wits trying to care for patients,” said Pam Parks, a registered practical nurse and president of CUPE 6364. “We know that the Ford government hasn’t been providing enough funding, but in what world does Lakeridge management think it’d be helpful to cut full-time positions? They should be working with the unions and the community to fight Ford’s cuts, not simply go along with the government’s agenda. We are dealing with absolute chaos here.”

Parks said that the hospital’s measures are disrupting patient care as management had been forcibly reassigning workers and saddling them with heavier workloads. For instance, she said nurses and dialysis technicians were being expected to clean stretchers to compensate for the reduction in housekeepers, taking time away from patient care.

Michael Hurley, president of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE), said the Ford government was chiefly to blame as hospital deficits soar due to insufficient funding from the province.

“We need more hospital staff and more hospital capacity, not less. The Ford government is hurting the predominantly female workforce and patients alike through its refusal to pay for quality health care,” he said. “This government either refuses to acknowledge that our hospitals are severely understaffed or is simply paving the way for privatization. But we won’t take these cuts lying down – hospital workers are going to fight back every step of the way to restore the quality of health care in this province.”

Earlier this year, a CUPE survey showed that about half the hospital workers in the GTA faced high stressed levels and 37 per cent were considering quitting their jobs.

CUPE is calling on the government to provide the financing needed for hospitals to hire 60,000 staff over the next four years and implement staff-to-patient ratios to address surgical backlogs, end hallway healthcare, and reduce long wait-times.



For more information, contact:

Zaid Noorsumar

CUPE Communications

[email protected]