Front-line nurses, health workers in Owen Sound seeking city council’s support

Owen Sound – The striking Owen Sound Family Health Organization (OSFHO) workers and their supporters will be at Owen Sound City Council on Monday night, kicking off a week of intensive community outreach in their fight for quality public health care.

“Privatized health care is hurting everybody in Owen Sound. And unless the community stands up strong for public health care, things are going to get a whole lot worse,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas.

“The owners of the clinic want to eliminate nurses in order to boost their profits. That’s bad enough but you have to ask yourself: what will they do next to boost their profits even more?”

During the City Council meeting, the striking workers will be asking the mayor and councillors to send strong messages to both the OSFHO owners and the province’s Health Minister, demanding that nursing positions be maintained.

“A family health team without nurses is no team at all,” says OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “It’s time for these owners to realize they must do more than hang their medical degrees on the wall in order to have a health facility that’s effective and credible.”

Supporters of the striking OPSEU Local 276 workers are planning a series of events and actions through the week, including pickets in front of the clinic, solidarity barbecues, and community leafletting.

“We love taking care of people in Owen Sound and we just want to get back to work with decent pay and working conditions,” said Local 276 bargaining team member Tina Roscoe. “We know our community support is strong and growing. By sticking together, we’ll protect quality health care here in Owen Sound.”

OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas: 613-329-1931

OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida: 647-390-2135