A union representing Ontario hospital workers is calling for an injection of funding into the province’s health-care system to help curtail what they call a worsening staffing crisis.
CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions says their members – who include registered practical nurses, personal support workers and clerical staff – are experiencing crushing workloads in understaffed hospitals and the situation is taking a toll on their well-being.
Secretary-treasurer Sharon Richer says a recent survey of more than 750 members indicates two in five workers have contemplated leaving their jobs and a similar amount dread going to work because of the heavy workload.
As the union bargains for a new contract, it’s calling on the government to increase full-time staff in hospitals and to follow British Columbia’s lead by bringing in mandated minimum staff-to-patient ratios.
To help meet those proposals, the union wants the province to invest $1.25 billion annually over the next four years on top of inflation.
The province’s independent fiscal watchdog has said the government needs to add more than 86,000 nurses and personal support workers by 2028 to get back to pre-pandemic staff levels and meet commitments to expand hospitals, home care and long-term care.
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