Attitudes are tough to change but OPSEU/NUPGE is embarking on a radio ad campaign to do just that when it comes to how health professionals are viewed by hospital administrators and the public, says OPSEU First Vice-President Patty Rout.
Toronto (13 July 2009) - Attitudes are tough to change but at OPSEU that doesn’t stop us from trying – no matter how long it might take.
A case in point is the attitude towards our health professionals by hospital administrators. As long as I’ve been an activist in OPSEU I’ve been repeatedly confounded, frustrated and left angry by the view of too many in management that somehow our members in this sector aren’t quite up to the standards of other professionals in the heath care sector.
We’re not fooled by the reasons behind this strategy. By reducing our members working in a wide range of hospital occupations to a second-tier status, the hospitals misguidedly believe they can get away with lower wages, fewer benefits, more concessions and less respect. They’re slow to recruit and fast to contract-out.
Heading into this round of arbitration our team was determined, in the strongest possible terms, to say ‘Enough is enough.’ I am pleased by reports from the table that we seem to be making headway.
But just in case hospital management doesn’t get it, we’ve put together a massive radio advertising campaign that will take our message to the airwaves and into all corners of the province.
In English and French, the ads reinforce our message that hospital professionals are part of a team and that means you treat everyone equally. It means you give them the same benefits and you ask everyone to make the same sacrifices. Unfortunately, too often in the past we’ve witnessed an approach that creates an occupational hierarchy inside hospitals that leaves our members on the sidelines.
The advertisements also address the serious staffing shortages our members face. We put it bluntly: hospitals have created this shortfall; it’s up to them to correct the imbalance.
The ads start on June 26 and will be broadcast through the middle of next week. If you don’t catch them on your radio you can listen to them by going to: http://www.opseu.org/bps/health/hospital/contract.htm
The media blitz is timed to coincide with our “We Matter, Too!” campaign taking place now in our workplaces. I’m delighted that almost 3,000 We Matter T shirts have been distributed across Ontario, along with thousands of buttons. I urge you to wear them proudly!
Notwithstanding this surge of campaign activity, and hard work at the arbitration, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish all members and staff of OPSEU the very best this summer season. May everyone enjoy a safe, healthy and restful break from work with family and friends.
First Vice-President / Treasurer
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE