Aug 05, 2022

By Bob Komsic

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The Ford government has to get off its hands and take immediate action to ensure Ontarians can access hospital care.
So say leaders of three unions; Ontario Nurses’ Association, Canadian Union of Public Employees and SEIU Healthcare, which represent over 120,000 hospital registered nurses, registered practical nurses, personal support workers, and tens of thousands of others in home, community and long-term care.
They propose the following:
1.  Support the existing workforce: staff up to reduce workloads, provide mental health supports, invest in making the hospital workplace safer for staff and patients; offer full-time employment and invest in on-site support such as childcare.
2.  Increase wages to attract and retain staff.  Bill 124 prevents that and should be repealed.
3.  Put in place financial incentives:  to discourage retirements and enhance hiring and retention.  Encourage staff to work additional shifts if safe for them to do so.
4.  Recruit with incentives for the thousands of nurses, paramedics and others who are licensed and not working to help staff up our hospitals.
5.  Significantly expand post-secondary spaces for health disciplines, wave tuition and provide additional financial incentives to study and practice in Ontario.
”If Premier Ford doesn’t like our plan then what’s his?,” asks SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart.
”Premier Ford likes to say that Ontario’s open for business but how long will that be true when our health-care system is closed.”
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