What Do Torontonians Think About a Big City Hospital Contracting-out Patient Care, Paying PSW's and Nurses Low Wages for Back-Breaking Work? Poll released Thursday, March 4, 11 a.m.

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TORONTO — Recently Torontonians were asked what they thought about one of the city’s leading hospitals – the University Health Network (UHN) – transferring some of its patients to Hillcrest, a UHN site reopened as a patient reactivation centre but where UHN contracts out care to a private home care company. 800 Toronto residents answered the poll conducted at the end of February. The findings will be released at a virtual media conference Thursday (March 4) morning.

Staff turnover rate is upward of 40 per cent (yearly) at Hillcrest, where UHN’s contractor, SE Health pays the personal support workers, nurses and other staff much less than what staff are paid at other UHN Toronto hospitals.

The majority of these UHN-Hillcrest health care workers are racialized women. In February, three of them, all PSWs spoke publicly to media about the challenges caring for their complex patients, under difficult working conditions and earning low wages, telling media they feel exploited. Working in these conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been a particularly gruelling time, they said.

PSWs at Hillcrest earn between $16.50-$16.88/hour and get only three days paid sick leave, but only if they are full-time employees. That’s almost $7 less than hour than they would earn if they were direct employees of UHN. Nursing and other staff at Hillcrest are equally underpaid.


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Media conference to release findings of a poll probing Torontonians support for UHN’s patient care and low-wage staffing model at the Hillcrest Reactivation Centre


Thursday, March 4, 11 a.m.


ZOOM http://bit.ly/CUPE-2021-03-04


A Hillcrest Reactivation Centre, PSW represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) 5439 & CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) president Michael Hurley

lf/cope 491

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210303005782/en/



Stella Yeadon, CUPE Communications 416-559-9300 syeadon@cupe.ca


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