Ottawa healthcare union members rally to pressure province to drop “sexist” Bill 124

A person wearing blue medical scrubs, a protective mask, sits on a hospital bench in a white room, looking down at their feet
Ottawa healthcare workers joined union members in the fight against controversial Bill 124 on Monday. Photo by Jonathan Borba.
Meara Belanger - CHUO - OttawaON | 15-03-2022
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Healthcare workers in Ottawa took to the streets on Monday to protest controversial wage-suppression legislation.


Nurses and frontline healthcare workers are demanding an end to Bill 124, a piece of legislation passed by the Ford government in 2019. The law introduced a one per cent cap on annual wage increases for healthcare workers in Ontario, which unions say resulted in a four per cent wage cut in 2021, and more than four per cent in 2022. On Monday, Ottawa healthcare workers gathered in Nepean in front of MPP Lisa MacLeod’s office to pressure the provincial government to repeal the bill.


The local union workers are asking MacLeod to “stand with them” against Bill 124, according to a statement from Dave Verch, a local registered nurse and Eastern Ontario vice-president of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU-CUPE).


“The Ford government’s wage cap devalues and disrespects a largely female workforce that has made huge personal sacrifices,” says Verch. “It cuts their real wages and leaves them with no ability to bargain badly needed mental supports after the trauma of caring for patients and residents through the pandemic.”


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