After abusing the notwithstanding clause to trample on education workers, this below-inflation hospital contract is another reminder of Premier Ford’s unconstitutional attack on working families and calls for Prime Minister Trudeau to defend the Canadian Charter.

Richmond Hill, Ontario — SEIU Healthcare, after bargaining with the Ontario Hospital Association over the past year, received the arbitrator’s decision last Friday afternoon that its hospital members, and those of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU), have been limited to a 1% wage cap for the next two years of its contract.

“The consequence of this 1% wage restraint will make the dangerously low staffing crisis in our hospitals even worse and is a result of Bill 124, Premier Ford’s unconstitutional anti-work law passed by his majority government,” said Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare. “Just as education workers are standing up to Ford’s latest attack on our Charter Rights, this cruel wage restraint on hospital workers is yet another reminder of Doug Ford’s unconstitutional attack on working families.”

Widespread hospital closures continue across Ontario because the provincial government is failing to retain frontline staff including personal support workers, paramedics, registered nurses, registered practical nurses, respiratory therapists, and dietary aides. While hospitals report record job vacancies and patients experience record wait times, inflation reached 8.1% in June.

SEIU Healthcare will always stand up for the rights of workers and is confident our ongoing court challenge will result in the repeal of Bill 124.

Our union is also calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to use Section 90 of the Constitution Act which authorizes the disallowance of Bill 28: Premier Ford’s presumptive use of the notwithstanding clause to deny workers the right to bargain a free contract.

“The Charter of Rights and Freedoms cannot be just a suggestion while our rights rot away, so we’re calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to use his federal authority to protect the bargaining rights of all workers.”


For media inquiries, contact:
Corey Johnson
SEIU Healthcare, Director of Strategic Communications