"They've listened to their constituents, they've looked at the evidence, and they're using common sense; it’s politics at its best." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Toronto (15 June 2017) — The President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) is applauding the 7 Grey County councillors who took action to protect public long-term care in their communities..
Walk out against privatization of long-term care facility
Councillors were scheduled to vote on a staff plan to privatize long-term care in Grey County. Knowing that many of their counterparts are dead-set on approving the privatization scheme, despite an outpouring of opposition from constituents, these councillors took what Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President, called a “brave stand against privatization” and walked out. As a result, Council was not able to reach quorum and the vote did not proceed.
"If only all of our politicians were as good as those 7," said Thomas, after the councillors walked out of the council meeting Thursday morning. "They've listened to their constituents, they've looked at the evidence, and they're using common sense; it’s politics at its best."
The vote on the scheme will likely now take place on June 22. In the meantime, Thomas is urging community members to keep up the pressure and continue to voice their opposition to the 10 councillors who favour privatization.
"Thousands of petition signatures have been collected,” he said. “Area residents have packed council meetings, rallied, and called their councillors by the hundreds to demand that they protect public long-term care," Thomas said. "I have no doubt that their actions and passionate pleas emboldened the 7 that walked out. And I have no doubt that by keeping up this community action, Grey Gables can be saved."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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