The membership of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) includes 30,000 CUPE hospital, long-term care, ambulance and central laundry workers in 120 bargaining units across Ontario.

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The Ontario Council Of Hospital Unions
261 Gerrard St East
Toronto, ON
M5A 2G1

Phone: 416.599.0770
Fax: 416.599.3982
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About Us

The membership of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) includes 30,000 CUPE hospital, long-term care, ambulance and central laundry workers in 120 bargaining units across Ontario.

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What Happened to Healthcare

Cuts to funding and the privatization of vital services are resulting in cutbacks and closing at hospitals, all over Ontario.

A great video by our Sisters and Brothers at
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Bargaining Update:
Conference Commits to pursue coordinated bargaining
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RPN Newsletter: Highlights of the 2016 Registered Practical Nurses’ Conference
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Conference Adopts Action Plan on Violence Against Nurses
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Pre-Budget Submission to the Ontario Legislative Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs
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Support for First Nations
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Open Letter: Seniors Prescription Drugs Deductibles
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Vaccine or Mask?
Know Your Rights.
You have the right to refuse to have a flu shot.
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Ontario Healthcare Coalition Action Plan: Taking Back Public Health Care For All

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Are you a PSW? Here is a factsheet on the recent changes to the Long Term Care Homes Act, that could effect you!
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For years CUPE has been concerned the Ontario government would transfer public hospital surgeries and diagnostic tests to private clinics. Read the backgrounder.
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Appropriate homecare is a public good, not a commodity bought and sold for profit.
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Read and follow the OCHU Leftwords blog by Doug Allan for current news and information on healthcare in Ontario.
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Poverty in Ontario is steadily increasing, and while the rich are getting richer. Join us in the fight to raise social assistance.
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OCHU Secretary-Treasurer Helen Fetterly is Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) for 2015.

Occupational Specialties

With significantly expanded scope of practice and training and with the rising acuity of hospital patients, Registered Practical Nurses have significant workload concerns.
These are the nurses patients meet at the bedside and the heart of patient care. OCHU represents 7,000 RPN’s.
Shouldering an increasing share of personal care for patients in hospitals and long term care, personal support workers play an important role in patient care. OCHU represents 4,000 personal support workers.
Keeping hospitals equipment and systems running, the trades and maintenance staff are the backbone of Ontario’s hospital system. Newly regulated and with growing demands on their skills, the 1,000 tradespeople represented by OCHU work around the clock to keep patients safe.
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Newly regulated, pharmacy technicians and technologists are a vital part of any patient’s hospital stay, ensuring that the drugs patients receive in-hospital are as prescribed.
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From a patient’s first experience in the ER, at admitting, at switchboard and throughout the hospital, clerical workers transcribe doctors’ orders, schedule tests and procedures and document and guide patients through their hospital journey.

Top News and Information

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34th Annual OCHU Convention: April 26th - 29th, 2016

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Clerical Conference 2016
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Bargaining Conference:
April 26, 2016

Local Issues Award

This Board of Arbitration was constituted under the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act to hear various local issues between the members of the participating hospitals (hereafter “the participating hospitals” and OCHU/CUPE (hereafter “the union”). The participating hospitals and the union are voluntary participants in central bargaining.
North Bay hospital staff report staggeringly high workplace violence rates: Poll
1/April/2016 10:36AM
NORTH BAY, ON — A poll of North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) staff conducted earlier this week shows “staggeringly high rates of workplace violence with virtually no resolve from the hospital,” said Michael Hurley president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) that commissioned the poll.

What’s more said Hurley at a media conference to release the poll findings, “it’s a grim and concerning reality that despite the fact incidents are happening almost daily, workers fear reprisal and incidents are under-reported”.

The majority of respondents said that in the last year, in the workplace they had experienced at least one incident of physical violence, but many said they had experienced nine or more occurrences.

The poll shows that registered practical nurses (RPNs) and personal support workers (PSWs) doing direct patient care, are dealing with disproportionately higher rates of workplace violence. 86 per cent of the nurses and PSWs polled experienced incidents of physical violence such as pushing, hitting or having things thrown at them in the last year.

Jarring workplace violence poll results released tomorrow
31/March/2016 11:30AM
NORTH BAY, ON — A poll of North Bay Regional Health Centre staff that measures incidents of workplace violence will be released tomorrow, Friday April 1, 10:30 a.m. at 120 Lakeshore Dr., North Bay. The poll is the pilot for a provincial survey the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)/CUPE plans to conduct with its 30,000 hospital and long-term care members across Ontario.
Government data shows that health care staff are the most likely to experience work-related violence and the incidents are rising.
The poll conducted earlier this week asks how many incidents of physical and non-physical violence staff experienced in the workplace in the last year. Several of the questions focus on how many incidents workers have reported and whether they are afraid of reprisal if they speak up at work about violent incidents. The poll also asked how many times in the last year staff have experienced sexual harassment or assault either non-physical or physical.

Toronto experience challenges Pembroke Regional Hospital’s contracting sterilization of surgical instruments
21/March/2016 9:30AM
PEMBROKE, ON — CUPE asked today why at least one major institution representing 3 large Toronto hospitals has ended its contract with the company that reprocesses and sterilizes its surgical instruments over quality issues, but Pembroke Regional Hospital would sign a 5 year contract with the same company?

After 4 years, Trillium Health Partners, with 850 hospital beds and many operating suites, ended their 10 year contract with SteriPro and brought sterilization of instruments back in house. Quality issues eventually led to the end of the relationship.

Joe Ricci, president of CUPE local 5180 that represents staff at Trillium Health Partners and also staff at SteriPro says “blood and bone matter returning on instruments was a problem. Did the Pembroke Regional Hospital ever talk to Trillium partners? I know that CUPE raised these concerns with the hospital here and asked them to. If they had, I don’t know why the hospital here signed a contract.”

Forum on violence against health care staff tomorrow open to all North Bay residents
20/March/2016 9:00AM
NORTH BAY, ON – Although other sectors have seen decreases in workplace violence health care has experienced a marked increase. The health care sector now has among the highest rates of workplace violence in Ontario. A panel on violence against health care staff Monday (March 21, 2016) at 7 p.m. at the First Ave. Royal Canadian Legion in North Bay will talk about the problem and specifically violence against health care staff and what can be done about it.

The panel will include the participation of health care staff, several of them nurses. “ We hope that the discussion will include everyone attending the forum, which is open to everyone,” says Sharon Richer, northern eastern Ontario vice-president with the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU) sponsoring the event.

North Bay Regional Health Centre wrong to fire nurse who spoke up about violence, say 81 per cent polled
11/March/2016 10:30AM
NORTH BAY, ON — There is little community support for North Bay Regional Health Centre’s (NBRHC) handling of the issue of workplace violence, a poll conducted on March 5 (2016) shows.

81 per cent of poll respondents say the hospital was wrong to terminate Sue McIntyre, a North Bay nurse who talked about violence in the workplace at a nursing conference in Kingston, late in January. Further, 71 per cent say they do not think the hospital is addressing the problem of violent assaults against staff properly.

These findings are significant, says Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) president Michael Hurley because the “overwhelming support Sue has had from so many people in the community, is now measured. North Bay is a community where people know each other. They know that staff who work at the hospital are assaulted and sometimes some are beaten very badly. They see the hospital respond to discussion of the problem of violence in a very repressive way. They are not impressed and it will impact fundraising. The board at the hospital should be very concerned.”

New poll uncovers community attitudes toward nurse firing for speaking out against workplace violence
10/March/2016 12:28PM
NORTH BAY, ON — The results of a poll conducted last weekend asking North Bay residents whether they approve of the recent action of the regional hospital for firing a nurse who spoke out against workplace violence, will be released Friday at 10:30 a.m., 120 Lakeshore Rd.
Participation in the five-question poll, conducted by Public Polling was higher than the 10 per cent norm for similar type polls. About 17 per cent of those called completed the poll, which tested residents’ perceptions of the North Bay Regional Health Centre termination of registered practical nurse Sue McIntyre late in January. McIntyre was one of several nurses who took part in a panel discussion on patient assaults on nurses at a nursing conference in Kingston. McIntyre was dismissed by the hospital for comments attributed to her in a media release summarizing the conference findings.
Unsafe patient overcrowding at Health Sciences North warn staff at media conference Thursday
9/March/2016 12:50 PM
SUDBURY, Ont. — Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 1623 will hold a media conference at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday March 10, at 885 Regent Street, Unit 3-11A in Sudbury, to raise concerns about overcrowding and patient safety at Health Sciences North (HSN). The hospital is so overcrowded that patients are being temporarily housed in tub rooms and hallways and there have been several complaints to the Fire Marshall’s Office.

“It’s heartbreaking and very frustrating to see patients housed in tub rooms,” says Dave Shelefontiuk, president of CUPE 1623, which represents staff at HSN.

Rally at Kingston General to protest Compass’ management of housekeeping at the hospital
4/March/2016 8:58AM
Kingston, Ont. – Staff at the Kingston General Hospital represented by CUPE Local 1974 will rally at the hospital (76 Stuart St., Kingston) at 11:30 a.m. on March 4.

The demonstration will protest havoc created by a contractor managing housekeeping, Compass.

“ Compass is a major corporation which has been brought in by the Kingston General Hospital to cut costs through the management of the housekeeping department. Unfortunately for patients at the hospital, staff reductions in cleaning have cut a skeleton cleaning crew to the bone,” says Mike Rodrigues, president of CUPE Local 1974. “ On top of the job cuts, scheduling changes introduced by the hospital have significantly hurt employee morale.”

Hospital staff from across Ontario on buses today in support of North Bay nurse fired for speaking out against violence
29/February/2016 9:01AM
NORTH BAY, ON –Hundreds of hospital and long-term care staff from across Ontario are heading to North Bay today, for a rally in support of Sue McIntyre, who was fired last month for speaking up about workplace violence.

McIntyre was one of several nurses who spoke about the systemic problem of violent assaults on healthcare staff at a nursing conference at the end of January. The North Bay Regional Health Centre fired her after the conference.

“ The senior management of the North Bay Regional Health Centre must be accountable for their repression of discussion of the problem of violence at their facility and for creating a climate of fear and intimidation. Firing Sue McIntyre was an abuse of power and an attack on free speech in a democratic society. The problem of violent assaults is one of the major health and safety issues facing staff in hospitals, long-term and community care. Hundreds of healthcare staff will stand today in absolute solidarity with Sue McIntyre and against the culture that says we must accept being hit and beaten as part of our jobs, ” says Michael Hurley president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU).

Assignment Desks: New location for tomorrow’s media conference is the Royal Canadian Legion, 150 1st Ave. West, North Bay

Nurse fired for speaking up about patient violence to make first public statement Wednesday in North Bay
23/February/2016 12:30PM
NORTH BAY, ON — North Bay nurse Sue McIntyre will speak publicly on Wednesday for the first time since her termination for voicing concerns about violence against health care staff. A media conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. February 24, 2016 at the Royal Canadian Legion 150 1st Ave. West, North Bay.
McIntyre was one of several registered practical nurses (RPN) participating on a panel discussion on violence at a nursing conference in January. At the conference organized by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)/CUPE, all 150 RPNs in attendance said they have experienced some form of violence from patients. 47 per cent of Ontario’s nurses suffered assaults by patients in 2014.

Provincial budget watch: corporate taxes must increase to counter deep cuts in hospital and long-term care staffing

23/February/2016 12:33PM
TORONTO, ON — While diverting attention to populist programs like the sale of wine in grocery stores, Ontario’s Liberals “have made deep cuts to patient and resident care, funding health services well short of aging, inflation and population growth cost pressures,” says Michael Hurley president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)/CUPE.

At the same time as cuts to patient and resident care have deepened, says Hurley, Ontario has lowered corporate taxes to the lowest of any province or state in North America. “It’s incomprehensible that the Liberals are cutting nursing care and closing hospital beds and programs to fund corporate tax levels lower than Alabama’s or Arkansas’. Ontario must generate new revenue by increasing the taxes on corporation and reinvesting in health care staffing and services.”

Public Forum on Violent Attacks on Healthcare Staff Planned March 21 in North Bay
16/February/2016 10:00 AM
North Bay, ON- The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE (OCHU) will sponsor a public forum on violence against healthcare staff on March 21 at 7:00 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion on First Avenue, in North Bay.

Half of healthcare staff providing direct care will be violently assaulted in 2016. “ The problem of violent assaults is one of the major health and safety issues facing healthcare staff in hospitals, long term and community care. Some of the staff assaulted at the North Bay Regional Health Centre, for example, are so traumatized that they have never been able to work again. It’s time to acknowledge the severity of the problem and to talk about action,” says Sharon Richer, Northeastern Ontario Vice-president of OCHU.


Service and care cuts at Ross Memorial Hospital undermining future of the hospital MPP Must speak out against them

11/February/2016 9:00AM
LINDSAY, ON — Piece-by-piece health services once available to Lindsay residents at Ross Memorial Hospital (RMH) are being moved to the Peterborough hospital or “quietly, silently being eliminated altogether,” says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)/CUPE.

Hospital staff are concerned, says Hurley that the most recent rash of “hospital service cuts will compromise current patient care levels and undermine the future of the hospital down the road. Hospital staff want local member of the provincial parliament (MPP) to speak out against the cuts and protect the community hospital.”


“We will not be silenced from speaking up about violence” Thursday Noon Rally Planned for Sue McIntyre at Vic Fedeli’s Office

10/February/2016 11:45AM
NORTH BAY, Ont. — Support from the local community and from healthcare workers across Ontario is pouring in for Sue McIntyre, the North Bay nurse fired by North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) after she spoke up about employer reprisals against hospital staff who report attacks from patients.

Sue’s neighbours, friends and co-workers will show their support this Thursday, February 11, 2016 at a noon rally at Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli’s North Bay office. Thursday’s rally is the first of several events planned this month. Supporters from across the province are heading to North Bay for a rally on Monday, February 29, 2016 at noon at the hospital.

Silence on Hopsital Patient Care Cuts by MPP Lou Rinaldi not Acceptable

4/February/2016 9:00AM
COBOURG, Ont. — Silence by Northumberland area MPP Lou Rinaldi on the detrimental impact of hospital patient care and service cuts at the community hospital, is not acceptable, say area health care workers who expect better from him.
The Ontario legislature resumes in mid-February and all indicators are that a provincial budget will follow in early March. Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) staff represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) “want our MPP to be vocal before that budget is released. We want him to call for an increase to hospital funding and a stop to the hospital cuts. We want him to do what he was elected to do and stand up for hospital services in our communities across the county. Mr. Rinaldi,” says Alice Cunnington, CUPE 2628 president, “also has an obligation to ensure that Ontarians from outside our community, driving our stretch of the 401 have access to a well-staffed hospital, ready to provide all-manner of care in a medical emergency.”

North Bay Hospital Must Reinstate Nurse Fired for Speaking Up About Patient Assaults

2/February/2016 11:00AM

Toronto, On. — A nurse who spoke on a panel about patient violence against nurses has been terminated by the North Bay Regional Hospital.
The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU)/CUPE is calling on the provincial government to pressure the North Bay Regional Hospital to reinstate the nurse and to adopt legislation that would make it a criminal offense to assault a health care worker and protect staff who report violent incidents from reprisal.
The North Bay hospital, “is bullying this nurse with the severest form of reprisal for telling the truth about patient violence. This autocratic management knows these assaults are going on, has done very little about them and doesn’t want people to talk about them. The hospital CEO must be held accountable for this decision to spend tens of thousands of scarce health care dollars on lawyers to try to uphold this indefensible firing,” says OCHU north- eastern Ontario vice-president Sharon Richer.


OCHU Events

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Rally to Reinstate Sue McIntyre in North Bay Feb 29

34th Annual OCHU Convention: April 26th - 29th, 2016

OCHU’s 34th Annual Convention will be in Deerhurst Skyline Resort, Huntsville, ON.

Read more…

Upcoming Area Meetings: Priorities Amongst the Major Issues for Bargaining in 2017

May 3: Area 2 meeting ( Hamilton Niagara )

May 6: Area 4 ( central Ontario )

May 13: Area 5 ( eastern Ontario )

May 19: Area 3 (GTA)

June 3: Area 1 ( sw Ontario )

June 7: Area 7 ( nw Ontario )

June 9: Area 6 ( ne Ontario )
Ontario long-term care 'a system in crisis,' workers say - CUPE says overstretched facilities are providing inadequate service

Patients in Ontario long-term care homes are at growing risk of abuse and neglect if shortcomings underscored in this week's auditor general's report aren't addressed, say advocates and workers at long-term care facilities.

"You're going to get more and more abuse. You're going to get more and more neglect," said Linda Assad Butcher, a retired ER nurse and dean of nursing whose husband, diagnosed with early onset dementia, lives at the municipally run Gary J. Armstrong facility in Ottawa.
During the month of September, Canadians are gathering to build awareness, challenge societal stigma, and celebrate the role that recovery plays in improving the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE envisions a work place in which recovery from addiction is a common, celebrated reality - a work place where all individuals will have access to the support they need when seeking help.

Join with the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE for the official Recovery Day Ottawa celebration in the National Capital at Ottawa City Hall, on Sunday, September 24, 2016.

Members Resources

The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health to bargain provincially with the major unions in the hospital sector.
View and Download your CUPE Central Collective Agreement Find out more...
OCHU has produced guidebooks to help our members understand in greater detail different aspects of their collective agreement. View and Download guidebooks to your pension, benefits and job security Find out more...
HOOPP is one of the largest defined benefit pension plans in Canada, and manages over $40.3 billion in assets. They have a very talented team investing the contributions for you, ensuring that your pension will be there for you when you retire. Find out more...
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions / CUPE has partnered with LMS PROLINK to provide Professional Liability Protection (PLP) exclusively for Registered Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses who are members of OCHU / CUPE. For over 30 years LMS PROLINK has been a 100% Canadian owned independent insurance brokerage serving members of unions and associations.

CUPE RPNs: For full details click here...

CUPE PSWs: For full details click here...

CUPE RNs: For full details click here...
Ontario Council of Hospital Unions - defending healthcare in every community