Bill 124 Cut Ontario's Hospital Workers Wages & They're Protesting It Today

Bill 124 was adopted in 2019 and it limited wage increases.

Toronto Associate Editor
Bill 124 Cut Ontario's Hospital Workers Wages & They're Protesting It Today
Shawn Goldberg | Dreamstime

Frontline hospital workers from all across the province are set to protest in front of the Ontario Hospital Association's (OHA) on Front St to demand a new contract that will provide fair working wages and better working conditions.

Back in 2019, the Ford government passed Bill 124, which limits wage increases to a max of 1% each year over a three-year period. This bill impacted many healthcare workers' wages.

Services Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare, an Ontario union that represents over 60,000 healthcare workers, says these compensation restrictions "severely limits [hospital workers'] ability to negotiate much-needed increases to mental health supports like post-traumatic stress counselling."

"Despite all the public gratitude and accolades recognizing them as pandemic heroes, behind the scenes Ontario hospital workers feel devalued by their employers attacking their working conditions at the bargaining table and by Doug Ford's provincial government cutting their salaries by nearly $1500 this year alone under a wage cap policy," SEIU Healthcare wrote in a September 10 announcement.

"At over 60 rallies in front of Ontario hospitals over the past three months, hospital workers have been clear with their employers and the Ontario government that restrictions on mental health supports and rollbacks on wages and working conditions are not the thanks they will accept following their challenging work and incredible sacrifice during the pandemic," SEIU Healthcare officials continued.

Nurses from all over the GTA also protested yesterday at Yonge and Dundas Square and reportedly kept chanting "Kill Bill 124," according to the Toronto Star.

The protest today is expected to take start at noon today, September 10, at Simcoe Park by the OHA downtown offices.

Members of SEIU Healthcare and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are working to negotiate a new contract, and bargaining starts back up again on Monday, September 13.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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