A group of children’s hospital employees are hoping that management will freeze their wages for up to four years, rather than face 11-per-cent pay cuts.
More than 80 patient service assistants (PSAs) met with senior management at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) last night to discuss a proposal by the hospital to split the current job description into three distinct roles, for the sake of infection control.
PSAs at CHEO currently work with nurses and complete light housekeeping duties, said PSA Shane Holley, who has been co-ordinating the group’s protest against the plan.
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Although CHEO has cited the reason for the change as infection control and lack of proper training, PSAs believe the move is a tactic the hospital hopes to employ to reduce deficit, said Holley. Hospital CEO Michel Bilodeau was unavailable for comment yesterday.
"Management wants to eliminate the PSA role and put it into three job categories," said Holley, saying those include health-care aid, porter and housekeeping.
Of the 87 PSAs working at CHEO, only 14 who end up assisting nurses will maintain their salaries after the change, said Holley, adding, "the rest of us will see a wage reduction.
"We as a group are vehemently opposed to the 11-per-cent roll back, which will definitely affect us all."
The hospital is offering a lump-sum payment to the affected PSAs equivalent to the amount of the rollback over one year.