Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Another increase to the cost of Healthcare

Just in case anyone hasn't clued into why our system is broken, HERE'S WHY... OPSEU workers in the health sector just won 2.5% wage increases for 2009 and 2010 under arbitration. At a time when thousands of people are losing their jobs, or are getting wage reductions, union folks are still demanding wage INCREASES... when they're already some of the highest paid workers around.

Of course, as we learned from the Ontario Economic update the other week, the McGuinty government doesn't have the money to help pay for the increases that your local hospital will now have to wedge into their budgets. Nor, of course, do they have the guts to stand up to the unions and do anything about it.
Ontario’s Hospitals Criticize Wage Award
Ontario Hospital Association
November 4, 2009

Toronto – Today, an Arbitration Board led by Owen Gray released its award in the matter between 44 Ontario hospitals and the Ontario Public Sector Employees Union (OPSEU).

The Gray Board of Arbitration awarded OPSEU 2.5% wage increases in 2009 and 2010, as well as certain enhancements to benefits. The wage increases awarded are significantly higher than recent settlements in the public sector, including the Ontario Public Service Settlement with OPSEU, the City of Toronto settlement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and hospital settlements with CUPE and the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW).

The award will increase the operating costs of the affected hospitals while not contributing to improved patient care.

Key Quote:

“The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is extremely disappointed that Arbitrator Gray chose to ignore the current and expected impact of the economic downturn on public sector finances generally, and on hospital funding specifically. This award is inconsistent with previous, freely-negotiated collective agreements and is, in the OHA’s view, irresponsible. Hospitals could be forced to make further difficult decisions related to staffing and service levels in order to meet the terms of this award and balance their budgets. We believe that Arbitrator Gray’s decision to ignore the prevailing economic circumstances clearly demonstrates why changes to the Hospitals Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA) are urgently needed.” – Tom Closson, President and CEO, OHA.

The text of the award is available at

For more information:
OHA Public Affairs
Just so no one is under any kind of illusion, wages and benefits account for WELL OVER 75%, often upwards of 78%, of healthcare costs. Until those costs are brought under control, we'll never be able to fix the current system as it currently functions.

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  • At Thu. Nov. 05, 11:30:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I figure these people are just following the example set by governments. Here in Alberta, the government granted its members a 30% increase in compensation just as the bottom was falling out of the economy. They then, oh so magnanimously, agreed to roll back about 10% of that raise. Not 10% of their total salary, but 10% of the raise. Governments set the bar.

  • At Mon. Jan. 04, 03:48:00 a.m. EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I find it odd that you failed to mention the 3% per year wage increase that was granted to the Ontario Nurses Association for 2009-2010. As a member of OPSEU - who works at a hospital that as of last week froze our wages and is refusing the pay increase at this time - has paid no attention to the increase that they have given to the nurses. It seems strange that the recession is only enough leverage for them to deny a pay increase to members of a certain union. I would be fine with the refusal - if the nursing salaries were alse frozen. Either way, we will wait for arbitration. I doubt CEO Dr Kitts has told everyone that during the recession his yearly salary is 618,000/yr. Our hospital is in debt, however I doubt any CEO would offer a simple 100,00/yr deduction to help out. Apparently the recession isn't so bad after all when one can make so grand a salary funded by the Government.


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