Dozens protest over recent layoffs, privatization fears at Grand River Hospital
Four unions took part in a protest outside of Grand River Hospital on Wednesday, representing workers who are concerned about recent cuts.
The hospital is currently dealing with a $7.4 million deficit, which has prompted a number of cuts over recent months.
Nancy Brissett is a union representative who says there’s worry over what layoffs could mean for frontline services. Workers are also fearful of privatization.
The hospital issued a statement in an effort to try to stay those fears.
“We appreciate our staff and community members are passionate about healthcare. We are too,” the statement says in part. “Which is why we are pleased that our 2019-2020 operating plan and budget does not include the elimination of any healthcare services we currently provide to patients.”
But the unions aren’t convinced.
Back in January, Grand River Hospital confirmed that it would be eliminating 50 positions as it attempts to deal with the projected deficit. CEO Ron Gagnon said at the time that that number seemed high.
A spokseperson for the nurses' union says a total of 40 jobs would be lost.
On Wednesday, dozens of union members from Unifor, The Ontario Nurses’ Association, OPSEU and the United Steel Workers had planned to rally into the afternoon.