Begins: 2 May 2023
Location: Kingston, ON
KINGSTON, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– Thousands of front-line registered nurses, registered practical nurses, medical lab technologists, health care aides, cleaners, clerical and other hospital staff at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) have committed to stop Doug Ford’s plan to cut up to fifty per cent of hospital surgeries and privatize the patient care.
On Tuesday – May 2 – they are going public with their fight. It begins with a rally (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) at Breakwater Park, directly across from the KHSC emergency entrance, where local hospital leaders with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/SEFPO) will unfurl a large banner with signatures from 60 per cent of those on front lines who have signed on to the anti-privatization fight.
For 100 years, Ontario has built a system of local public hospitals that operate on a non-profit basis, in the public interest. But the Ford PC government is steam-rolling ahead with Bill 60 to tear that down by opening three new private for-profit day hospitals, allowing the unlimited expansion of other for-profit clinics and shunting tens of millions in public funding to private clinics and hospitals.
Hospital staff say this PC plan would devastate the services in most of Ontario’s public hospitals, including Kingston’s, and threaten public health care.
Since the provincial government’s push to privatize hospital services and bring in American style health care was made public, tens of thousands of hospital staff who are members of CUPE, ONA, OPSEU/SEFPO, SEIU Healthcare, and Unifor began organized campaigns at community hospitals to fight against the plan. The rally event in Kingston Tuesday, marks the first of several visible actions – by front-line hospital staff in communities across the province – coming over the next few months.
Barb Deroche, President CUPE 1974,
Annette Saccon, President ONA Local 99,
Erica Benn, President OPSEU/SEFPO Local 4106
Rally against hospital privatization and banner with signatures of thousands of KHSC front-line staff committed to keep hospital care public
Kingston Breakwater Park opposite KHSC Emergency Department entrance
May 2, 2023 – 11 a.m. -1 p.m.*
* Note to media assignment desks, KHSC local union leaders’ speeches begin at 11:15 a.m.