Union President says Workers Feel Blindsided by Hospital Cuts

Unifor Local 2458 President Tullio DiPonti says the union and its members feel "blindsided" by management at Windsor Regional Hospital.

President CEO David Musyj announced cost improvements will result in approximately 80 staff reductions on Friday. The majority of those jobs will be cut from Unifor membership in food services and housekeeping. Musyj stated the hospital needs to find $7.3-million in savings for a balanced budget in the next couple of years.

DiPonti tells AM800 News the union has heard about job cuts first in the past, making Friday's announcement even more, "disappointing."

"We were able to work through it, but obviously by not informing us, the way I see it, that was there way of just trying to get this through and hopefully we'd stay quiet," he says. "Obviously we will not stay quiet and we're going to make sure that our people are treated fairly."

Trying to understand why the cuts are focused where they are is another item DiPonti can't come to grips with.

"How they can go after the people cleaning the rooms and preparing the food for the patience, making $38,000 and $40,000 a year, they think that they can fix their deficit of $7.3-million," added DiPonti.

Musyj did acknowledge the hospital will try to mitigate the impact on workers through attrition and retirement.

A possibility that DiPonti is happy is on the table.

"Our people that are working today will keep working tomorrow and hopefully people that want to retire maybe will get a package of incentives to make them go so we don't have any job loss," he added.

DiPonti is set to meet with Musyj to learn more and plead the union's case Tuesday afternoon.

It was announced 20 staff have already lost their jobs and more layoffs are on the way in the coming months.