TORONTO, ON – A new Ontario government policy that gives access to full COVID-19 protection – including N95 masks – to some health care workers while excluding others is “cruel and unfair”, say hospital and long-term care (LTC) workers, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

A one-day province-wide workplace action is planned for tomorrow, April 2. Health care staff in Ontario have a limited right to refuse unsafe work.

Media are invited to join a virtual media conference (on ZOOM) tomorrow (April 2) at 11:30 a.m. with CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) president Michael Hurley and CUPE Ontario secretary-treasurer Candace Rennick. They will provide updates from the front-line of health care where CUPE represents more than 90,000 members and give details about why the day of protest is necessary.

Late Tuesday night, the provincial government revoked a recently issued order that would have provided all hospital health care staff dealing with a presumed, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient, access to N95 masks and other protections. A new order excludes registered practical nurses, personal support workers, cleaners, and doctors, among other staff in hospitals and all staff in long-term care and home care from getting this level of personal protective equipment (PPE). It also excludes thousands of registered nurses working in non-hospital settings.

Media can access the media conference tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. using this link: https://zoom.us/j/461164485.

Ontario media interested in accessing the media conference by phone please call:
1-647-374-4685 or 1-647-55-0588, Meeting ID: 461 164 485.

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For more information please contact:
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications 416-559-9300 [email protected]

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