Begins: 17 Mar 2022 @ 11:00 AM
Location: Peterborough, ON
PETERBOROUGH, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– While front-line Peterborough and Lindsay hospital and long-term care workers were overwhelmed caring for the sick over two years COVID-19 during the pandemic, PC MPP’s like Dave Smith proudly defended their government’s 1% wage cap legislation (Bill 124) that with rising inflation hits the province’s “pandemic heroines” with a 4% real wage cut in 2021 and more than a 4% cut again in 2022.
On Thursday March 17 they will be at MPP Smith’s constituency office protesting how his PC government is devaluing. They will be asking the MPP’s to ‘stand with them, not against them’ and to help push their government to repeal Bill 124.
“The Ford government’s wage cap devalues and disrespects a largely female workforce that has made huge personal sacrifices. It cuts our real wages and leaves us with no ability to bargain badly needed mental supports after the trauma of caring for patients and residents through the pandemic. We think most Ontarians are on the side of health care workers. We are asking MPP Smith to stand with us in calling for this Bill to be repealed”, says RPN Maggie Jewell, CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU-CUPE) area vice-president.
Since March 1, more than 1,600 health care workers have contracted COVID-19 at work, one of the highest rates of infection during the pandemic. CUPE believes this would not be happening if health care workers were adequately protected and is bargaining along with SEIU Healthcare for increased access to N95 masks.
CUPE in Ontario represents nearly 90,000 health care workers. 90% of RPNs and personal support workers (PSWs) working in the health system are women. 65% of the people who clean and disinfect our hospitals and 75% of respiratory therapists are women. Almost all the ward clerks and other administrative workers are female.
“At the root of it, Bill 124 is sexist and discriminatory legislation. It doesn’t cover any other emergency personnel, like paramedics, police, and fire- which tend to be male dominated. It must go or many more nurses, PSWs and other staff will leave their jobs at hospitals and long-term care homes which are already struggling with staff shortages,” says Jewell.
Over the next week more protests planned at PC MPP’s offices across Ontario including in, Burlington, Milton, North Bay, Pickering, Kenora, Stratford, Port Hope, Newmarket, Barrie, and Niagara.
WHO: Peterborough/Lindsay hospital and long-term care workers including registered practical nurses, personal support workers (PSWs), trades, administrative and cleaners.
WHAT: ‘Stand with health care workers’ rally/protest
WHEN: Thursday, March 17, 2022, at 11 a.m.
WHERE: MPP Dave Smith -1123 Water St. Peterborough
For more information contact:
Stella Yeadon CUPE Communications, 416-559-9300, firstname.lastname@example.org