“Tired and Fed Up” Thousands of Ontario’s Hospital Health Professionals To Stage Rallies In Day of Protest Against Ford Government’s Actions

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OPSEU Hospital Professionals Division Cross Ontario Protests Monday at noon

“Health professionals are tired and fed up,” said Sara Labelle, chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division which represents more than 25,000 hospital professionals across the province. “We have risked our health and safety, and that of our families. Thousands of us have tested positive for COV

When: Monday, July 20 – times are listed below.

What:
Ontario’s hospital allied and paramedical health professionals are staging rallies against the Ford government. Thousands are expected to join in the day of protest. This group, Pharmacy Technicians, Medical Radiation Technologists, Laboratory Technologists, Speech Language Pathologists, Physiotherapists, Social Workers and over 250 different types of health and paramedical professionals are exhausted after working through the entire first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic under the emergency regulations passed by the Ford government that cancelled vacations and weekends, overrode collective agreement protections for professionals’ scheduling, enabled redeployments without notice, required staff to work if they have tested positive and are asymptomatic, and much more.

Now the Ford government has introduced Bill 195, which they plan to steamroll through the Legislature prior to July 22 when the legislature closes for the summer enabling them to extend the emergency regulations for up to a year.

Despite being exposed to COVID-19 positive patients the health professionals were forgotten when the province gave other staff in hospitals the pandemic premium. Yet without them, no diagnosis can happen, no COVID-19 tests would be processed, no blood drawn, no therapies to aide recovery, no treatments, no intubation, no social work support, no medications distributed and much more. Still, the provincial government has refused to extend the pandemic premium to the health professionals. In the professions this is a fundamental matter of respect for the work they do and fairness in recognizing the vital role they play.

Despite working side-by-side with other hospital staff treating the same patients, who were given access to N95 masks and superior PPE, many of this group have not had appropriate access to PPE. Throughout the first wave, they have been required to wear the same masks and PPE until “visibly soiled” an unacceptable level of infection control and workplace safety.

“Health professionals are tired and fed up,” said Sara Labelle, chair of OPSEU’s Hospital Professionals Division which represents more than 25,000 hospital professionals across the province. “We have risked our health and safety, and that of our families. Thousands of us have tested positive for COVID-19. We have dealt with being retested week after week. We have worked weekends with no notice, lost our vacation time, and accommodated changes to plans over and over again. Yet the Ford government has ignored and disrespected us. We have had enough. Before a second wave, we are demanding key improvements to our health and safety, respect for our rights, and respect for the work that we do to help keep Ontarians safe.”

Demands:

  • We deserve the same pandemic pay that all of our colleagues in hospitals are getting.
  • We require access to a safe level of PPE and the development of a secure adequate supply chain.
  • We oppose Bill 195 and the extension of the emergency regulations up to another year, including regulations that override our schedules, force redeployments, require unsafe reuse of PPE, violate our collective agreements and hard-fought rights. This Bill is a power grab that is unnecessary, even dangerous and should be withdrawn.

Locations:

  • Ajax-Pickering: Lakeridge Health Ajax site, 580 Harwood Avenue South 12 to 1 contact Leanne Weatherill (905)213-5772
  • Bowmanville: Lakeridge Health Bowmanville site, 47 Liberty St S 12 to 1 contact Leanne Weatherill (905)213-5772
  • Burlington: Joseph Brant Hospital Northshore Blvd 11 to 1 contact Betty Palmieri (289)260-6785
  • Cambridge: Cambridge Memorial Hospital 700 Coronation Blvd 12 to 1 contact Barbara Verall (519)212-5185
  • Hamilton: St Joseph’s Healthcare West 5th Campus 100 West 5th Street, Charlton and King Street E 11 to 1 contact Betty Palmieri (289)260-6785
  • Lindsay: Ross Memorial Hospital 10 to 12 sidewalks Kent and Angeline Street
  • London: LHSC Victoria Hospital 800 Commissioners Rd E and University Hospital 339 Windermere Road 11:00 to 1:30 contact Steve McCaw (519)709-6634
  • Newmarket: Southlake Hospital 566 Davis Drive 11:30 to 1:30 contact Lori Dennis (705)341-2860
  • Niagara Falls: Niagara Health 5546 Portage Road 12 to 1 contact Brenda Allen (905)348-4863
  • Oshawa: Lakeridge Health Oshawa site, 1 Hospital Court 12 to 1 contact Leanne Weatherill (905)213-5772
  • Ottawa: The Ottawa Hospital/EORLA/CHEO Civic Campus Carling Avenue near emergency department, General Campus Smyth Avenue near the main entrance contact 11:30 to 1:30

Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital 43 Bruyère St 12 to 1 and Saint-Vincent Hospital 60 Cambridge St. N. 12 to 1
Contact Krista Curtis (613)697-1317

  • Perth: Perth District Hospital 33 Dummond Street 12 to 1 contact
  • Peterborough: Peterborough Regional Health Centre 1 Hospital Drive 11:30 to 1:30
  • Port Perry: Lakeridge Health Port Perry site 451 Paxton Street 12 to 1 contact Leanne Weatherill (905)213-5772
  • Sarnia: Bluewater Health Sarnia site 89 Norman Street 11 to 1 contact June Weiss (519) 466 3372
  • Scarborough: Scarborough General Hospital Centenary Hospital 2867 Ellesmere Road 11:30 to 1, Grace Hospital 3030 Birchmount Road 11:30 to 1 and General Hospital 3050 Lawrence Avenue East 11:30 to 1 contact Kingsley Kwok (416) 835-3377
  • Smiths Falls: Perth and Smith Falls Distric Hospital 60 Cornelia Street W 12 to 1
  • St Catherines: Niagara Health 1200 Fourth Avenue 12 to 1 contact Brenda Allen (905) 348-4863
  • Toronto: Baycrest 3560 Bathurst Street 12 to 1

Humber River Regional Hospital 1235 Wilson Avenue 12 to 12:30 contact Gayatri Samaroo (647) 669-6048
Sunnybrook/Shared Hospital Labs 2075 Bayview Avenue 12 to 1:30 pm

  • Welland: Niagara Health 65 Third Street 12 to 1 contact Brenda Allen (905) 348-4863
  • Whitby: Lakeridge Health Whitby site 300 Gordon Street 12 to 1 Leanne Weatherill (905)213-5772

For more information: Sara Labelle 905-914-4037 mobile.

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Sara Labelle
OPSEU Hospital Professionals Division
+1 9059144037
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