Staff at Muskoka Shores Nursing Home demand Wynne government act to protect residents

GRAVENHURST, ON – Residents at Muskoka Shore Nursing Home are not getting the level of care they

need and the Wynne government must take immediate action, said staff from the home who held a rally

Monday to draw attention to the urgent situation.

“We now have only three personal support workers scheduled for every 60 residents and we physically

can’t provide the level of care they need,” said Cindy Seaton, President of CUPE local 2481 who also

works at the home. “We’ve been so worried about their care that I called the Ministry of Labour to

make a complaint and was told there’s nothing they can do because there are no legal minimum care

standards. Since sending out our media advisory Friday I’ve had a call back to say they will look into

things further. We hope this will lead to action.” Read More...

Peterborough hospital has “obligation” to step into Compass talks

PETERBOROUGH, ON — CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn today called on the Peterborough Regional

Health Centre to take a much more active part in the talks between its food contractor and the staff working in

retail food operations at the hospital to avoid a lock-out.

Recent polling showed overwhelming support in the Peterborough community for the hospital to lead in

providing jobs that pay fair wages.

“The hospital has an obligation to not allow one of its contractors to pay poverty level wages as a way to

escape these obligations. The poll shows that the citizens of Peterborough, who fund the hospital’s capital

projects, expect more of them. We are calling on the hospital to step actively into these talks,” says Hahn.

CUPE Ontario represents 250,000 unionized employees working in public services in Ontario. Read More...

CUPE asks Minister of Health to investigate…

CUPE asks Minister of Health to investigate…
- Ryan Paulsen, Daily Observer

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) have asked Eric Hoskins, Ontario's Minister of Health and Long Term Care, to step in and take a closer look at the Pembroke Regional Hospital decision to outsource the sterilization of surgical equipment.

"I write to bring to your attention the decision of Pembroke Regional Hospital to ship its surgical instruments to Mississauga for sterilization," the letter signed by OCHU president Michael Hurley opens.

The letter goes on to reiterate a point CUPE representatives have made several times before, stating that the same company that will be providing services to PRH, SteriPro, "lost a contract" they had with Trillium Health Partners in the Greater Toronto Area.

Details on the termination of SteriPro's contract are in dispute, however, with SteriPro stating that they were the instigators of the termination negotiations, and not the other way around.

Despite this assertion by SteriPro, CUPE representatives, including Hurley, continue to cite "quality issues" as a reason for that contract termination, claiming that the hospital had to cancel a significant number of surgeries due to problems with sterilized equipment, up to one per cent of procedures per year, according to one CUPE official at a press conference earlier this year.

Don’t close a Hamilton hospital or cut care say over 90 per cent of residents polled

HAMILTON, ON — Hamilton residents are not on board with closing a hospital, anymore hospital service and patient care cuts or for that matter a new round of hospital bed closures, a poll released today found. Conducted earlier in May, the poll asked over 1200 Hamilton residents questions about area hospitals, which collectively service a population catchment area of over 1.4 million people.

More than nine out of ten (91 per cent) of respondents said they do not support the closure of a Hamilton hospital. 76 per cent said they or a family member has been admitted to hospital in the last five years.

“This shows overwhelmingly that Hamiltonians, support and use our community hospitals. We don’t want to see one close. It would be an extremely unpopular decision if one were targeted for closure,” said Dave Murphy the president of Canadian Union of Public Employee (CUPE) 7800.

As part of a “future vision” plan, expected to be finalized sometime this June, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) floated closing an entire hospital as a way to contain costs and as a way to deal with several hundred million dollars of deferred building repair and maintenance that the provincial government has not funded.

What do Hamilton residents think about closing a local hospital? Poll results released tomorrow (June 1)

Hamilton, ON – Over 1200 Hamilton residents took part in a poll recently that measured residents’ attitudes toward their

community hospitals, provincial funding for hospitals, hospital service and bed cuts and access to hospital care. Poll results

will be released tomorrow June 1, 2016 at 11 a.m., outside Hamilton General Hospital, corner of Barton Street, East and

Victoria Ave. North.

As part of a “future vision” plan, which is expected to be finalized sometime this June, Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is

seriously considering closing an entire hospital rather than rebuild hospitals. It also proposes dismantling the under-one-

roof model of hospital outpatient clinics, to what appears to be non-hospital, privately-run clinics all over the city and

increasing “virtual” access to services.

Minister of Health asked to review Pembroke Regional Hospital’s contracting of sterilization of surgical instruments

Pembroke, ON- CUPE is asking the Minister of Health, the Hon. Dr. Eric Hoskins, to review the decision of Pembroke Regional Hospital to enter a 5-year contract for the reprocessing and sterilization of its surgical instruments to SteriPro in Mississauga. Trillium Health Partners, which comprises the major Credit Valley and Mississauga hospitals recently ended its relationship with SteriPro and brought sterilization of instruments back in house.

“ We know from our members at SteriPro and Trillium, that blood and bone matter returning on instruments was a problem which resulted in the cancellations of some surgeries,” says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE. “ Quality and cost issues eventually led to the end of the relationship with Trillium. SteriPro has now entered into a relationship with the Pembroke Hospital and we believe that they are also in discussions with the Arnprior Hospital. We believe that it is in the public interest that the Minister review this contract and the risk assessment that the hospital prepared around this decision.” Read More...

Greater diversification of nursing team, not less, will lead to better patient outcomes

Toronto, Ont. – Fewer deaths, increased patient satisfaction, fewer falls, fewer bed sores, shorter

lengths of stay are all documented benefits of a diversified nursing team observed in recent studies.

“Ignoring this research on positive patient outcomes, to promote a single occupation as was recently

done by Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (RNAO) offends the skill and dedication and the

healing work of tens of thousands of caregivers working in hospitals and long-term care and the

positive impact they have on patient care,” says Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of

Hospital Unions (OCHU).

First as northern activist elected as Secretary-Treasurer of OCHU

Toronto, Ont. – Sharon Richer was elected as Secretary-Treasurer of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE on April 28. Ms. Richer is employed by the Sudbury Regional Hospital and was until her election, vice-president of CUPE Local 1623.
"This is the first time that a worker from the north has been elected to a full-time position with the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions. Northern Ontario is hurting badly from 9 years of provincial hospital budget cuts. Hospitals in Kenora, Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Timmins, North Bay, New Liskeard and many other northern communities are closing beds, operating rooms and services. Hospitals like Mathews Memorial on St. Joseph’s Island are facing closure. All of the resources that we have to muster will be aimed at defending healthcare services, beginning with an energetic push behind the Ontario Healthcare Coalition’s community referendums on hospital cuts, which are scheduled for May 28” says Ms. Richer. Read More...

North Bay hospital staff report staggeringly high workplace violence rates: Poll

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.
59 per cent of the poll respondents are RPNs or PSWs. Of those respondents 73 per cent are women. 41 per cent of respondents provided other important support services at NBRHC. Read More...

Jarring workplace violence poll results released tomorrow

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. Read More...

Toronto experience challenges Pembroke Regional Hospital’s contracting sterilization of surgical instruments

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.” Read More...

Forum on violence against health care staff tomorrow open to all North Bay residents

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. Read More...

North Bay Regional Health Centre wrong to fire nurse who spoke up about violence, say 81 per cent polled

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.” Read More...

New poll uncovers community attitudes toward nurse firing for speaking out against workplace violence

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. Read More...

Unsafe patient overcrowding at Health Sciences North warn staff at media conference Thursday

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.