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Private company abandons contract at Ontario hospital

Ontario Public Service Employees Union wins against controversial decision to privatize in-patient services.

Warren ThomasTORONTO, January 7, 2009 — The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) has won a battle against a controversial decision to privatize in-patient physiotherapy at the Kincardine hospital.

A contract between the hospital and a private numbered company has been dissolved. In-patient physiotherapy will continue to be delivered directly by the hospital. However, patients requiring out-patient physiotherapy services will be forced to travel elsewhere.

OPSEU was scheduled to attend a hearing Jan. 9 to determine whether it retained successor bargaining rights for workers at the contracted-out facility. Instead, the company gave notice that it will not go ahead with its move into the hospital.

"This is half a victory," says OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas. "It returns in-patient services to the public sector but it still leaves out patients who cannot pay with a 70-kilometre trip to the nearest OHIP accredited facility. The fight is not over."

Across the province cash strapped hospitals are either abandoning or charging for out-patient physiotherapy. OPSEU obtained a legal opinion last fall calling such changes a violation of the Canada Health Act.

Links and sources
  Private company abandons contract at Kincardine hospital, posted on nupge.ca January 7 2009

Posted: January 07, 2009

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