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Hospital Support Spring Newsletter

Hospital Support: Ontario Public Service Employees Union

For OPSEU members working in Sector 11

To download a printable version, click here

Editor’s note

The New Year is well underway, and 2018 is sure to be an exciting year for all of us working in the hospital support sector. We work in a fast-paced, changing and exciting field. That’s why it’s important to know the legislative changes that also impact our work – and there are many! Whether in bargaining, pay equity, or generally improving our working conditions, these changes affect us all. For example, the introduction of paid personal emergency leave (PEL) days in Bill 148, the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act (see below for more details).

As a sector, we can expect many changes and just as many challenges on the road ahead. With a provincial election on the horizon, this is especially timely. Our sector’s executive team remains focused on four key objectives:

  • To develop and promote strong language and key demands in bargaining;
  • To coordinate activities on a sectoral basis;
  • To participate with community and labour groups to promote and support the shared aims, purposes and goals of our union; and
  • To promote and improve communication within the sector.

We look forward to keeping in touch!

Meet your Sector Executive team!

Jill McIllwraith

Jonathan Hopkins

Lauren MacLaren

Lisa Hovinga

Harjinder (Harry) Sangha

Rose Anne Faubert
Education and Communications

Christine Marshall
Health & Safety Coordinator

Marc Casey
Staff Negotiator

HELP stop the spread of flu!

This winter season, many communities have seen higher-than-normal incidence of the flu. As you know, Ontario’s hospitals have been chronically underfunded, understaffed and remain overcrowded because there are too few beds to meet population need. While the flu did not cause this crisis, our under-resourced hospitals and Emergency Departments are finding it difficult to keep up with demand.

Hospital support staff are vital in managing this hospital crisis. One way to help is to pass on this information, in an effort to improve awareness about common cold and flu symptoms:





Common, high (102°F – 104°F or 39°C – 40°C). Starts suddenly, lasts 3 to 4 days. Not all people with flu

General aches and pains


Sometimes, mild


Common, often severe

Muscle aches


Sometimes, usually mild


Often, can be severe

Feeling tired and weak


Sometimes, mild


Common, may last 2 to 3 weeks or more


Fatigue (extreme tiredness)




Common, starts early








Can lead to sinus congestion or earache


Can lead to pneumonia and respiratory failure, worsen a current chronic respiratory condition, be life-threatening

Chest discomfort and/or coughing


Sometimes, mild to moderate


Common, can become severe

And always remember:

JCYH Just Clean Your Hands!

The single most important method for preventing infections

For more information about Public Health Ontario’s JCYH program, visit: and search JCYH Education, Training and Tools for Hospitals.

Update on Bill 148: the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act

The improvements to the Employment Standards Act (ESA) and the Labour Relations Act (LRA) contained in Bill 148, also known as the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, represent a significant step forward for workers’ rights in this province. As a leader in the fight for fairness in the workplace, OPSEU welcomes many of the enhancements contained in Bill 148, including the increase to the minimum wage, changes to make unionization easier for some workers and the requirement for employers to provide “equal pay for equal work.”

To see the full version of Bill 148, click here

Bill 148 highlights

  • As of January 2018, Ontario’s minimum wage increased to $14/hr
  • Next increase of $15/hr set for January 2019
  • Fairer scheduling rules
  • On-call pay rules
  • Vacation time
  • Domestic/sexual violence leave
  • Personal Emergency Leave (PEL) days

Reminder: OPSEU Convention 2018

Thursday, April 19 – Saturday, April 21
Metro Toronto Convention Centre

Convention is the union’s highest-ranking authority, where delegates debate and vote on policy and constitutional motions. Awards, presentations and guest speakers are also part of this three-day event.

Visit the Convention Index page for all news and events:

Coordinated bargaining: what is it?

Locals across Ontario are reporting that coordinated bargaining is helping them bargain better contracts.

But, what is coordinated bargaining?

Quite simply, it means coming together, and coordinating our efforts to bargain better collective agreements. When the majority of locals within the Hospital Support sector are preparing to enter into bargaining, OPSEU brings representatives from each bargaining unit together for a Pre-Bargaining Conference. This is an opportunity to learn about existing superior language, and to strategize collectively on common language that can be used to improve our contracts across the board.

The intention of coordinated bargaining is to create consistency in collective agreements across the sector, to push for the inclusion of superior language and to improve compensation and benefits for hospital support staff. When several contracts are similar, they are easier to understand and to renew simultaneously. By streamlining the process, locals can spend more time concentrating on local issues during bargaining, such as scheduling.

We must continue to protect the benefits and compensation entitlements we have fought hard for, and bargained over many years. But, by coming together, we can also push for better contracts.

Together, we are stronger through coordinated bargaining.