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Privatized St. Thomas health care professionals are ‘overworked and underpaid’

OPSEU Community Health Care Professionals

St Thomas— The President of the Ontario Public Services Employees Union (OPSEU) is calling on the CEO of a private medical provider in southwest Ontario to show basic fairness and decency to the people who provide important health care in St. Thomas.

“This is one of the most unfair situations I’ve ever heard of,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “And at the end of the day, it’s the people of St. Thomas who are paying the price because the health care professionals they depend on are overworked and underpaid.

“It’s time this community, and the health professionals who provide care in this community, were treated with fairness and respect.”

OPSEU Local 152 represents 22 health care professionals working for Closing the Gap in St. Thomas. They include a dietician, a social worker, a speech and language pathologist, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists. Their contract expired on March 31, 2017, and conciliation is scheduled for May 2.

Even though they provide exactly the same services as the Closing the Gap health professionals in other locations around the province, the St. Thomas professionals receive up to 30 per cent less in salary and benefits, forcing many of them to work longer hours to earn the money they need to support themselves and their families.

“This is yet another example of how privatization puts profits before people and leaves accountability in the dust,” said Thomas. “It’s time for Closing the Gap to start treating all of its health professionals, and all of the people who depend on them, with transparency and decency.”

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