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Press Release: Regent Park Community Health Care Workers to Host News Conference and Rally Addressing Crisis in Regent Park

In Regent Park, community health care workers are facing a crisis as they were forced out on strike two weeks ago by their employer who failed to offer a fair deal. These workers, members of OPSEU/SEFPO Local 5115, are on the frontlines of the poisoned drug epidemic, saving lives every day. On Thursday, April 4, a news conference and rally will be hosted by these community health care workers to discuss the impact of the health care crisis on vulnerable clients and to call on RPCHC management to end the strike. Solidarity guests from other striking workers and OPSEU/SEFPO Local 535 will also be present.

The Regent Park Community Health Centre was established over 50 years ago to address the health needs of the community, which largely consists of racialized individuals with precarious status in a mid to low-income area. These workers provide essential services such as overdose prevention programs, support for addictions and homelessness, and primary health care. Despite their critical role in addressing some of the most pressing health issues in Regent Park, these workers have had frozen wages for nearly six years and benefits that have not been increased for 30 years. They are demanding better wages, benefits, and a psychologically safe work environment.

The staff at RPCHC are underpaid within the health care sector compared to other hospitals in Toronto leading to recruitment and retention challenges. After five months of bargaining, the employer has not prioritized the needs of clients and workers resulting in an ongoing strike that has affected vulnerable clients who rely on these essential services. It is time for RPCHC management to come back to negotiations with good faith and resolve this crisis before it leads to further harm for both clients and staff alike.

By Samantha Jones

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