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In Regent Park, the health care system is in crisis as community health care workers were forced to strike two weeks ago when their employer failed to offer a fair deal. These workers, who are 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 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 these issues head-on, these workers have had frozen wages for nearly six years and benefits that have not been increased for 30 years. This has made it difficult for them to afford living in the city where they work and has led to recruitment and retention challenges within the sector.

After five months of bargaining with RPCHC management, this group of dedicated healthcare professionals have not seen any improvements in their wages or working conditions. As a result, they were left with no choice but to take action through an ongoing strike that continues today. The demands made by these workers include better wages, benefits, and a psychologically safe work environment that allows them to provide quality care without fear or stressors interfering with their work.

It is crucial that RPCHC management recognizes the value that these workers bring to our community’s healthcare system and takes immediate action to resolve this crisis before it spirals out of control. Not only does this affect those who depend on these services daily but also threatens the future of healthcare in our city as a whole.

The OPSEU/SEFPO Local 5115 members strive not only for better pay but also for better working conditions that ensure both patients and staff feel safe at all times.

We hope that RPCHC management will come forward soon with concrete proposals that address this crisis once and for all so that we can put an end

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