Ford Governments Health Cuts Negatively Impact Patient Care:
Coalition Calls Out Ford Government for “Dissembling” and Lack of Public Accountability
Toronto - In what the Health Coalition has termed a bad news day for Ontario’s health care, the Ford government revealed that it has eliminated more than 800 full-time equivalent positions in the LHINs (Local Health Integration Network) and in the six health care agencies (including Cancer Care Ontario, Health Quality Ontario, Trillium Gift of Life, HealthForce Ontario and others ) that they eliminated when they created their new “Super Agency”. In addition, almost 300 front-line health care staff providing autism services have been cut at ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development as part of province-wide layoffs of autism care and support workers following the autism funding cuts and restructuring that were implemented in recent months. Also revealed today, a high-risk pregnancy clinic in Windsor will be shuttered. Today’s revelations come on the heels of a raft of hospital cuts that have been announced across Ontario in the last few weeks resulting from the Ford government’s real dollar budget cuts to Ontario’s hospitals, says the Health Coalition.
The Health Coalition takes issue with Doug Ford’s Health Minister’s claim that the cuts to the health care agencies and LHINs only involve the “back-office”. “We are hearing from health professionals, nurses and unions representing care staff that a number of the LHIN and health agency cuts do directly impact care,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “While we never supported the LHINs conducting P.R. and propaganda campaigns using public money to sell health care cuts and policy changes to the public, this announcement is characterized by the same secrecy and dissembling that we have seen over and over from the Ford government. In fact, the health agencies being cut directly impact patient care and could have a huge impact on wait times and access to services. In addition, the cuts at the LHIN include cuts to care staff that impact patient care directly. Today’s new autism cuts directly impact services that families with autistic children desperately need and which are a lifeline. The cuts to high-risk pregnancy services and local hospitals directly impact care and services for hundreds of thousands of Ontarians. “
The Ontario Health Coalition is tracking the Ford government’s health care cuts on its website: https://www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca/index.php/mounting-health-care-cuts/. The tally of cuts grows longer virtually every day. “The Ford government promised that they would end hallway medicine; they did not campaign on massive cuts to our health care services. They said would improve mental health care, but instead cut funding by over $300 million a year. They promised they would not eliminate public sector jobs and health care jobs, but they have been doing just that since last fall, right after they took office,” said Ms. Mehra. The Health Coalition is demanding that the Ford government stop the cuts. But if they fail to do so, they are demanding the government release a full list of all positions they are cutting in every health service in order to make these cuts transparent and publicly accountable. “These are services that are funding by the public with our money and changes in health care policy should not be subject to a disingenuous publicity campaign,” concluded Ms. Mehra.
Ontario Health Coalition
Saturday November 23 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Sunday November 24 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
The Ontario Health Coalition Health Action Assembly and Annual Conference is scheduled for Saturday November 23 at Church of the Holy Trinity, 10 Trinity Sq. from 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday November 24 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Steelworker's Hall, 25 Cecil St. The Assembly is where we share our most up to-date information, discuss what is occurring across the province and set our strategy for the coming year.
Sliding scale $0 - $40. To pay online for the Health Action Assembly & Annual Conference click here. (Payment on line is $40.) Please ensure that the registration form is filled out and emailed or mailed into the Ontario Health Coalition. The registration form can be found at the bottom of this email, attached in pdf format for printing, or through the pay online link. If you do not chose to complete payment online, please mail a cheque. If emailing the registration form please put use the subject line ASSEMBLY REGISTRATION.
We try to hold the Assembly & Conference in an interesting neighbourhood for our members travelling into Toronto from other towns. This year, the Saturday venue is in the Church of the Holy Trinity nestled behind the Eaton Centre (directly across the street from our hotel) and the Sunday venue is at the Steelworkers Hall near Baldwin Street, a neighbourhood celebrated for its diverse restaurants and boutiques. It borders Chinatown and Kensington Market. We have arranged a special reduced price on hotel rooms at the Sheraton Centre on Queen St. between University Ave. & Bay St. The Sheraton Centre is across the street from the Church of the Holy Trinity and a twenty minute walk from the Steelworker's Hall.
The Ontario Health Coalition has arranged a special reduced price at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto on 123 Queen Street West.. Rooms are $169 per night. You must reserve your own room. To make a reservation call 1-888-627-7175 use the group name Ontario Health Coalition Room Block or group ON4303 or click this link to book your group rate for the Ontario Health Coalition room block online.
The last day to book a room under the Ontario Health Coalition room block and receive the group rates is October 24, 2019. Please ensure your room is booked at the very latest by that date to ensure there are rooms available at the Sheraton.
I have attached a PDF with information on parking at and near the Sheraton.
Local coalitions: are asked to please seek local funding first to subsidize your travel costs. If you need subsidy from the Ontario Health Coalition, we will fund up to two representatives from each active local health coalition including hotel and travel costs. All subsidies must be pre-approved by Natalie Mehra, executive director and the OHC will not pay subsidies for local coalitions that have not pre-requested and received authorization from Natalie. Note: we will subsidize amounts up to our block rate for a hotel room and gas (not mileage) or train/plane ticket.
Attention Local 291 membership! Here is a great opportunity, learn more about OPSEU and your rights as a member.
November 9th and 10th at the Hilton Meadowvale in Mississauga.
Courses being offered at November 2019 Region 2 Educational:
Deadline to apply is October 11, 2019.
To download the registration package (which includes descriptions of each of the courses),click on "Registration Forms".
The Bargaining Team will be holding the Demand Set Meeting on Wednesday, September 18th, 6 pm at the Guelph Membership Office at 400 Speedvale Ave W. This meeting is vital for you to attend so that you get to have your vote on the top 5 priorities that you would like the Bargaining Team to focus on.
We need everyone to come!
Please note any dietary restrictions in your RSVP, as dinner will be provided.
The last day to RSVP is Friday, September 13th, 2019, as we need to know numbers so we can ensure to have enough food for everyone. RSVP today and put it in your calendar.
Your Bargaining Team appreciates all those who have completed the Demand Set Surveys and who will be able to make it to the meeting, so they can represent us, members.
J. Beckett, J. Chambo, S. Jenkins-Moss, P. Roberti, & S. Tobin
Want to be more involved with OPSEU?
At the Demand Set Meeting Wednesday, September 18th, 2019 we will be electing delegates and alternates to attend the OPSEU Broader Public Sector Conference in Toronto Friday, November 15 to Sunday, November 17, 2019.
To stand for election the member must be present for the vote or have a signed nomination form present for the vote. Members must complete and either submit the nomination form to email@example.com prior to 5 pm on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 or have the form brought to the Demand Set Meeting.
Need the nomination form? Find it here!
Bargaining Priority Survey Response Deadline Extended to:
August 30, 2019 at 11:59pm
Thank you to all members that have already completed this survey. See you on September 18th for the Demand Set Meeting!
Summer greetings members of Local 291!
Thank you for your patience while waiting to hear about next steps from the bargaining team. After receiving feedback from the first survey, the team met to compile the results. Using the large amount of data collected, we have created a second survey in the hopes we can narrow down the feedback to focus on some priorities.
We invite you to participate in this next survey so the bargaining team can learn about your top priorities and share them with you at the Demand Set Meeting on September 18th at 6pm at the OPSEU membership hall. If you would prefer to complete a paper copy of the survey, please ask a steward if they would arrange for you to receive one. Please return any paper surveys to the steward who gave it to you. To complete the survey online, email your Bargaining Team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and request the link be emailed to you.
The deadline to submit a completed survey is 11:59 pm on August 30th. Please note we will be unable to accept surveys completed after this date. We look forward to hearing from you!
Julie Chambo, Stephanie Jenkins-Moss, Piri Roberti,
Shannon Tobin, J. Beckett
The Joint Job Evaluation Committee has continued to meet and make good progress on finalizing the ratings. The Steering Committee is setting additional meeting dates to discuss next steps. A further update will be provided based on the outcome of our meetings.
Jenn Bechtel, Jennifer Gleeson, Julie Chambo, Keehan Koorn, Sarah Bumbaco, Shannon Tobin, Susan Kilpatrick
Congratulations to Piri Roberti who is starting as Communications Officer effective February 2019!
The Bargaining Team is planning for our next round of bargaining, and they face the daunting task of being representatives for all of us. Many of the Bargaining team are based in Guelph so they are not always aware of what is going on in the rest of the organization. Please tell the Bargaining team what your needs are by clicking here to request access to the link. The information collected from Demand Set survey is confidential.
On Tuesday October 16th, a grievance filed by J. Beckett, a member of our Local 291, was heard at arbitration. The grievance centred around Ms. Beckett being prevented by our employer from applying for a posted position.
Article 16.04 states "Any employee who has successfully bid under this Article will not be considered for another posted job before six (6) months from the date of a successful bid." In dispute was the definition of "successful bid". The employer interpreted "successful bid"as the date an employee started working in their current position. Ms. Beckett's (and that of the Local Union's) interpretation was the date the employee accepted the offer of the position.
Arbitrator Goodfellow ruled that the employer's interpretation of the language was wrong and ruled in favour of Ms. Beckett and the Local Union.
To read the full text of Arbitrator Goodfellow's award, click here. Please note that the language of Article 16.04 was amended in the recent round of collective bargaining, subsequent to the filing of the grievance.
Congratulations Ms. Beckett!!!
Communications Officer L291