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  • Writer's pictureSerena Austin

Health-care workers protest for better wages outside Ontario health minister’s Orangeville office

Home and community care workers from CUPE 966.15 delivered petitions to offices of Dufferin-Caledon MPP Sylvia Jones, Premier Doug Ford and Brampton MPP Prabmeet Sarkaria

Home and community care workers from CUPE Local 966.15 gathered outside of Health Minister Sylvia Jones’s office in Orangeville to deliver a petition to her on Thursday, May 16, but the doors were locked. Ian Willms photo

Central West Home and Community Care workers protested outside Ontario Health Minister Sylvia Jones’ office in Orangeville the morning of Thursday, May 16.

A delegation of workers delivered a petition signed by the majority of CUPE Local 966.15’s members to the offices of Jones, PC MPP Prabmeet Sarkaria in Brampton and Premier Doug Ford in Etobicoke, demanding the provincial government and Treasury Board return to the table to negotiate a “fair wage” increase.

Jones, who is the MPP for Dufferin-Caledon and the deputy premier, Ford and Sarkaria all represent communities within Central West’s catchment area.

Home and community care support service workers include nurses, personal support workers, occupational and physiotherapists, IT and administrative support and other health-care workers.

CUPE members working in home and community care have yet to settle their wage reopener negotiations since Bill 124 was overturned.

The bill capped increases for public sector workers to one per cent a year for three years and has been found to be unconstitutional by both the provincial Superior and Appeals courts. It was repealed by the provincial government in February.

More than 70 per cent of CUPE Local 966.15 members signed the petition.

“We have returned to the table just to be given a measly .75 per cent (increase) offer, which was unacceptable to our members,” said Wendy Gairy, a home and community care worker who was part of the delegation on Thursday.

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