Toronto PSWs Risk Speaking out About Low Patient Care and Staffing, Exploitation at University Health Network’s (UHN) Hillcrest Hospital: CUPE

February 9, 2021 9:04 AM EST

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TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Although Ontario is struggling with resident care quality, pandemic infection control and keeping residents alive in private long-term care and retirement homes the PC government is furtively moving hospital patients – some of them still acutely ill - to makeshift sites. These include private retirement homes, hotels, and shuttered hospitals like Toronto’s University Health Network (UHN) – Hillcrest site, where patient care and staffing levels are subpar.

After dealing with severe understaffing and gruelling workloads during the COVID-19 crisis in the last year, several UHN - Hillcrest personal support workers (PSWs) are bravely speaking out about patient care, low staffing levels, high workloads, and the workplace exploitation (including few paid sick days) they’ve endured under this UHN ‘contracted-out’ hospital care choice. The UHN – Hillcrest Reactivation Centre is a 75-bed hospital site with about 100 contracted out front-line staff.

Media are invited to hear their stories on a virtual media conference on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 11 a.m., on Zoom: The media conference will also include Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU-CUPE) president Michael Hurley.

Despite its world-class reputation for excellent medical care, UHN is using a private contractor – a home care company - to provide care for post-acute hospital patients transferred to Hillcrest from its downtown hospitals. The personal support workers and nurses are paid $5.00 an hour less than other UHN care staff at their other Toronto hospital sites.

In support of the PSW’s who are risking employer reprisal for speaking out, other UHN-Hillcrest centre front-line staff are taking part in day of action in the workplace on Wednesday. They will be wearing stickers with a clear message to UHN that they are their hospital staff and deserve hospital wages and working conditions.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) represents several thousand staff at three other UHN Toronto hospitals and 50,000 hospital workers across Ontario.


Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications


Source: The Canadian Union of Public Employees

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