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Peterborough hospital imposing a wage freeze on hundreds of women through ‘rigged’ job evaluations

Peterborough – OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas is vowing to stop the Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) from using “rigged” job evaluations to impose a years-long wage freeze on a group of female employees.

“I’m not sure if I’m angrier that they’re rigging job evaluations, or that they’re doing it to hurt women who are already among their lowest-paid employees,” said Thomas. “Either way, it’s corrupt, it’s misogynistic, and we’re going to stop it.”

Today, the members of OPSEU Local 345, who do clerical work at PRHC, are scheduled to receive official notification of the results of their job evaluations. There are 247 members of the local. 245 of them are women. 244 are being downgraded, which will mean wage freezes of between five and eight years.

“It’s disgusting. The bosses at this hospital are trying to cut costs on the backs of their most vulnerable workers,” said OPSEU First Vice-President / Treasurer Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida. “Job evaluations are supposed to be fair and objective. But how fair and objective could they be when literally 99 per cent of them result in downgrades? This whole process stinks.”

What’s worse, said Almeida, is that one of the positions went through the exact same job evaluation process just three years ago. It found that the women in that position weren’t being paid enough for the work they do.  But now, the employer is somehow claiming most of the women in this local – more than half of whom work part-time – are being paid too much. For example:

  • A cancer care intake position was evaluated three years ago and upgraded from a Grade 4 to a Grade 5. But now the employer is claiming it should be downgraded to Grade 3, effectively freezing the wages of those workers until 2026.
  • The employer is trying to downgrade a position in finance from Grade 5 to Grade 4, even though the employer recently upped the educational requirement for the position, demanding an additional two-year diploma to qualify.

“The CEO of PRHC has been given a 25 per cent raise since 2014. He now makes nearly $380,000 a year,” said Thomas. “How is it fair these members who are doing vital work are being forced to make do with less when he’s enjoying so much more? It’s not fair and I’ve got a message for him: it’s not going to happen.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas, 613-329-1931