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70,000 Ontario Hospital Staff Begin Contract Talks Under Cloud of Doug Ford Government Unfair Wage Cap Regime

·2-min read

OCHU-CUPE, SEIU Healthcare hold media conference with front-line hospital workers June 14 – 11 a.m.

Jun 13, 2021--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Front-line hospital workers will speak at a media conference on Monday to discuss the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on them, the mental health supports they need in the aftermath, their thoughts about leaving their profession, and how Doug Ford government’s Bill 124 will make things even harder for them moving forward.

They are among the nearly 70,000 Ontario hospital workers who have stepped up for Ontarians during the COVID-19 pandemic and whose provincial contract negotiations are set to begin on June 21. Their unions, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) through its hospital division, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE), and SEIU Healthcare have formed unique bargaining alliance. They are negotiating with the Ontario Hospital Association in a joint process from the start of central bargaining, a first for the two unions.

Despite hospital workers’ pandemic sacrifices, negotiations for this predominantly female workforce is hampered by the Ford government’s unfair wage cap regime, Bill 124, which when inflation is factored in, effectively dooms them to a wage cut and is no reward for their fierce dedication to patients, say OCHU/CUPE and SEIU Healthcare. The wage cap also includes benefits, which will limit the ability of these workers to negotiate much-needed increases to mental health supports like psychotherapy and post traumatic stress disorder counselling.

The unions will hold a virtual media conference ( on June 14 at 11 a.m. to talk about hospital workers’ sentiment prior to these contract talks and to highlight the beginning of ramped up protests directed at the dissonance between what the Ford PC government says about health care workers and what it does to them in practice.


Sharleen Stewart, President SEIU Healthcare

Michael Hurley, President Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE)

CUPE and SEIU front-line hospital workers


70,000 hospital staff represented by SEIU and CUPE who are captured under pre-COVID wage cap legislation begin central contract negotiations following 16 months of pandemic work


Virtual media conference, ZOOM link


Monday June 14, 2021 – 11 a.m.


View source version on


Stella Yeadon, 416-559-9300
CUPE Communications

Corey Johnson, 416-529-8909
SEIU Healthcare Communications

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