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Hospital workers protest in Fort Frances, June 2020. Image: Randy Thoms

Hospital workers awarded wage increases

By Randy Thoms Apr 19, 2024 | 6:29 PM

Hospital workers represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees’ Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (CUPE/OHCU) and Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Healthcare have won wage increases totalling 6% in a new arbitrated two-year contract.

The unions were hoping for more.

Michael Hurley, President of CUPE/OCHU, says the healthcare workers still earned gains in other areas.

“Today’s arbitration decision will lift the spirits of frontline hospital workers, who are struggling with impossible workloads in a staff retention crisis,” says Hurley.

“Significant improvements to dental and other benefits, real wage increases, and substantial adjustments to premiums will all contribute to making these frontline hospital staff feel valued and help them to better cope with the cost-of-living crisis that all working people are facing.”

There are also new measures to policy agency nursing profits, review contracted-out work and provisions for stable staffing on weekends.

Sharleen Stewart, President of SEIU Healthcare, also called it a win for workers.

“Hospital workers can temporarily breathe a sigh of relief knowing their wages are going up six percent over the next two years with this new contract. Patients deserve hospital workers who are focused on them, not the economic anxieties they face because of years of attacks from the provincial government,” says Stewart.

The deal comes on the heels of a separate arbitration award for the same workers that provided a 6.25% retroactive pay hike after the court struck down the wage-restricting Bill 124 as unconstitutional.

The deal impacts about 65,000 hospital workers.