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St. Thomas health professionals seek public support to improve care, avoid strike

OPSEU Community Health Care Professionals

St. Thomas — Facing heavy workloads and high-stress conditions that threaten the quality of the health care they offer, the OPSEU members working at Closing the Gap St. Thomas are asking for the public’s support as they try to avoid a work stoppage.

To spread the word, the members will be holding an information picket on Tuesday, May 22 at noon.

  • What:  OPSEU Local 152 Information picket at Closing the Gap St. Thomas, 452 Talbot St.
  • When: Tuesday, May 22, noon to 1 pm
  • Why:  Build support for their push for better quality care in St. Thomas

“The people and families of St. Thomas deserve the same high-quality health care provided to other communities across the province,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “But the owners of Closing the Gap are putting profits first.

“It’s not fair. It’s not right. And it must stop.”

The members of OPSEU Local 152 at Closing the Gap are health professionals. Even though they provide exactly the same services as Closing the Gap health professionals in other locations around the province, they 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.

Their contract expired on March 31, 2017, and bargaining has now reached an impasse. If the Closing the Gap owners continue to refuse to make a fair offer, the members could be in a legal strike position by early June.

“It’s time for people in St. Thomas to demand the health care they deserve,” said Thomas. “It’s time for the owners of Closing the Gap to stop putting profits before people.”

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