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OPSEU Local 294 members protest at Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins’ office

Home care nurses and administrative staff from CarePartners in the Niagara region from OPSEU Local 294 spent two hours today protesting outside Health Minister Dr. Eric Hoskins’ constituency office in Toronto. Their message was clear: It is Dr. Hoskins’ job to ensure Ontario’s home care system functions properly, and he should instruct CarePartners CEO Linda Knight to bargain responsibly.

CarePartners’ nurses and administrative staff have been without a contract for two years, and have spent almost four months on the picket line.  Nurses are paid by the visit rather than the hour, which means providing proper patient care and writing follow-up case notes and treatment synopsis translates into having these healthcare professionals working for less than minimum wage.

Dr. Hoskins was not in the office, and his staff said they were unable to contact him. Six police officers were called in instead.

CarePartners workers and their allies in Toronto handed out leaflets to passersby, and got many expressions of support and encouragement.  One of Dr. Hoskin’s constituents, moved by the plight of the workers, booked an appointment to speak with him about the issue, and posed for a picture afterwards.