“Joining a union is the best way for them to protect their work and the patients they care for.” ― Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Newmarket (9 Mar. 2020) ― A large group of well over 100 rehabilitation professionals at Southlake Regional Health Centre has strengthened job security and has a stronger voice in the workplace by voting to join Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE).
Health care system in increasing chaos
“On behalf of OPSEU/NUPGE’s Executive Boards, I’d like to congratulate these hospital professionals for exercising their right to join a union,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.
“Now’s the time to do it. Our health care system is in increasing chaos as the Ford government blunders its way through its disastrous scheme to restructure and amalgamate,” said Thomas. “Joining a union is the best way for them to protect their work and the patients they care for.”
New members feeling the consequences of understaffing and underfunding
The newest OPSEU/NUPGE members work as Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, OTA/PTAs, Recreation Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, and Communication Disorder Assistants at Southlake’s main hospital in Newmarket, as well as, four satellite locations across the Regional Municipality of York and the City of Toronto.
Like everybody else working in health care, these new members and the patients they serve are feeling the consequences of understaffing and underfunding every day.
Unions a powerful voice against cuts and privatization
“These health professionals are doing the best they can, but they are understaffed and they aren’t being backfilled and they are risking injuring themselves just trying to meet the demand,” said Sara Labelle, the chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division. “And the increase in hallway health care means they’re having to use alternate and inferior spaces to do their work, because the spaces they used to use are now being used for patient beds.
“So I welcome them whole-heartedly to OPSEU/NUPGE. Our number one goal is to ensure that patients get the best and fastest care possible. By joining together, we’re a powerful voice against cuts and privatization.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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