Hospital Bargaining Committees Meet
November 17, 2008, 9:24 AM EST
Bargaining Committees from CAW hospitals across Ontario met in Toronto on October 23rd and 24th to plan for negotiations in 2009. More than 90 delegates included local bargaining committee members, local union executive members, and CAW national staff representatives.
CAW represents almost 10,000 hospital employees in 42 bargaining units at 25 Ontario hospitals, the majority of which will see their collective agreements expire in 2009. Over the two days of meetings, delegates set priorities, and strategies for this critical round of negotiations. Discussion ranged from RPN utilization and adjustments, to the importance of which bargaining units were best positioned to set a pattern, working in coordination with the rest of the province.
CAW Assistant to the President, Bob Chernecki, reported that it was critical we enter this round of bargaining on the same page. "We know we have had success within the Northern Hospital group in master negotiations, and other lead groups, and we need to fully utilize the strength of our union in this round as hospitals look to tighten their budgets even more." He added, "Our union intends to negotiate fair wage increases for our workers, regardless of the economic climate."
CAW National President Ken Lewenza addressed the delegates and reminded them of their importance to the union. "When we make gains for those working in the health care field we automatically improve the lives of those they care for, and that is completely in keeping with the social goals of our union."