CUPE Ontario has worked with the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) and other allies to organize a Time to Care demonstration at Queen’s Park on Tuesday Feb 27 from 12 – 1 pm, with lunch provided.
With our work on The Time to Care Act, Bill 33, we are closer than ever to getting a legislated minimum standard of care for seniors in long term care. We know that, because of our campaign, long term care will be a big election issue in the June 2018 provincial election. I am proud of the incredible work of CUPE Ontario members, across all sectors, on this important campaign and on Feb 27, one week after MPPs are expected to return to Queen’s Park, we are organizing to send a loud and clear message that we won’t stop until 4 hours of direct, hands on care is the law in Ontario.
Seniors need a legislated daily minimum standard of 4 hours of direct, hands on care. We have all worked hard in the past few months to put pressure on Ontario MPPs and the Premier to recognize this and pass Bill 33. Please join me on Tuesday Feb 27 outside Queen’s Park to help us make Time to Care the law in Ontario.
Who do Ontarians want to respond when they call 911? 83 per cent say ambulance paramedics, not fire for medical response
A new provincial poll released today shows that Ontarians aren’t on board for recent Liberal government changes that would redirect 911 medical calls away from paramedic ambulance services to fire departments.
If they had to make a 911 call for medical assistance for themselves or a family member, more than 83 per cent of the 2,500 Ontarians surveyed said they prefer a response by an ambulance service. Only 6.8 per cent said they preferred a response by a fire department.
The poll was conducted late in 2017, immediately following the passing of changes to the Ambulance Act that could allow fundamental changes to 911 emergency medical response and pre-hospital care, say paramedics with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). These changes include allowing pilot projects in “willing” municipalities to experiment with using firefighters who also have a paramedic designation to respond to pre-hospital emergency medical calls.
When asked directly whether they would support government replacing an ambulance service response to some 911 medical calls with a fire department response, more than 70 per cent of respondents said they were against the change. Just over 65 per cent said they didn’t think allowing municipalities to replace ambulance services with fire department services on 911 medical calls would improve patient care.
The polling shows “that the province really doesn’t have Ontarians’ support to alter 911 medical response to redirect medical response to fire departments. Our findings show there is really no appetite for this. Ontarians understand both the patient care implications and the higher costs that will be incurred by municipalities if the province goes through with this model.
“The paramedics whom CUPE represents are strongly urging this government to put resources into enhancing ambulance paramedic response, not these fire experiments,” says Jason Fraser, chair of the CUPE Ambulance Committee of Ontario (CACO), which represents more than 5,500 paramedics at ambulance services province-wide. There are about 8,000 paramedics in Ontario.
To date, no municipality has volunteered to run a pilot, although the province has said trials would be in place by March 2018. In fact, municipalities, through their provincial umbrella group, have come out against moving to a medical response through fire departments. A paramedic fire model would increase costs for municipalities as an hour of fire service is 55 per cent higher in cost than an hour of ambulance service. Municipalities pay 100 per cent for fire services through the local tax base while the province pays 50 per cent of ambulance-based paramedic services.
Studies confirm that emergency medical calls are increasing, while the number of fires is declining. Nearly 62 per cent polled said they agree that the provincial government should study the public health and economic potential for moving resources from services that have a declining need, such as fire calls, to services that have an increasing need, such as ambulance-based paramedic calls. “We need rational planning for our emergency services, not politically driven decisions. It appears that the only supporters of this model are the firefighters’ association that proposed it and the provincial Liberals that are facilitating it,” says Fraser.
Polling was conducted by Public Polling and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.82 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
For more information, please contact:
Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications, 416-559-9300 firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from Durham Region Labour Council Executive regarding the disaffiliation of Unifor from the CLC.
January 21st, 2018
Durham Region Council Affiliates and Delegates
Sisters and Brothers,
The Durham Region Labour Council Executive conducted an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss the January 18th, 2018 letter of Unifor Canada - disaffiliation from the Canadian Labour Congress. The council executive met to discuss the current status of the dispute, impacts to the council and our next steps.
During the next few weeks, the council is expecting correspondence from both the CLC and Unifor about the dispute and the process and positions that both organizations have taken. The Executive will meet again on the regularly scheduled date of February 5th, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. to review the current status of the situation before our General Membership meeting scheduled for February 13th, 2018 at 7:00 P.M.
Many of us feel that we as delegates to the Durham Region Labour Council are being used as pawns in this unfortunate outcome of the current dispute in Canada. There is without a doubt, real commitment from the delegates of Unifor to the contributions of building a working class movement for the betterment of all workers in our society. Three of the current Labour Council Executive members find themselves torn from these decisions of their national organization.
After a very deep conversation with the information we have currently, we have decided we will continue to watch this situation closely and will again meet on February 5th as DRLC Executive. If there are any major changes to the positions of either of the organizations, or changes to the current dispute, we will communicate that information when it becomes available.
At this point the current location of the next General Membership meeting, will be held at the same location of Unifor Local 222 Union Hall - 1425 Phillip Murray Ave, Oshawa, ON at 7:00 P.M. If this location is changed, we will notify you as to the change in location. We look forward to your presence at this meeting for a full discussion of the situation.
We welcome the continued work and passion from Unifor delegates to the council. We wish for a fair resolution to the dispute ASAP.
The council will continue to explore ways of making any transition during this period of time.
There is lots of work to be done to challenge bad employers, challenging wealth inequality in society and winning major advancements for our communities. We look forward to your continued work in this regard.
Durham Region Labour Council Executive
CUPE Durham Northumberland CUPE District Council Stands Up For Tim Hortons Workers and 15 and Fairness
CUPE 9112 protesters gathered outside Cobourg, Toronto and Whitby Tim Hortons locations to speak out against franchise owners who plan to clawback paid breaks and employer-paid benefits following the increase in minimum wage.
As of January 1, Ontario’s minimum wage increased to $14 an hour, prompting some Tim Hortons’ franchise owners to take measures to reduce their costs by targeting employee benefits and breaks. Shame on those business owners.
Was great to see Rick Saunders and Horace Jordan representing in Cobourg, you can't take the fight out of these retirees. Also there to lend a hand was Sid Ryan and Dave Mitchell the new President of Toronto's CUPE Local 79.