Thursday, 31 May 2012

Shrieeek! Union destroys hospital! And Timmies!

This is what passes for news reporting, in the Sun tabloids.
A hospital Tim Hortons in St. John's that was supposed to make hundreds of thousands of dollars to offset the cost of delivering health care is going fully private after years of losing taxpayer money.

Eastern Health, Newfoundland and Labrador's largest health authority, announced this week that it will hand over all its non-patient cafeteria services — including the red-ink-stained Timmies — to private companies.
How many prevarications did you spot in those opening paragraphs? Tim Hortons are franchised; whoever has a contract with the head company is required to hand over a large chunk, if not ALL the profits to the corporate owners. Hospitals are not-for-profit but you'd think that somebody in Accounting might have been able to crunch those numbers for Eastern Health before agreeing to a venture that lost money to private industry.
"We cannot continue to subsidize those non-direct care services when we know they can be provided more effectively and efficiently," Eastern Health CEO Vickie Kaminski said.
Words taken directly from the CONservatives' standard talking-points manual. Will Eastern Health soon be asking patients to launder their own bedsheets and clean the bathrooms? That's *non-direct care services*, right?
When the Tim Hortons opened in 1995 in the Health Sciences Centre, Newfoundland and Labrador's biggest hospital, authorities promised it would net a profit of up to $300,000 a year, enough to "pay the salaries of seven nurses," then-hospital administrator Gladys Peachy told CBC News at the time.

Instead, Kaminski revealed this week the chain lost $260,000 last year alone, despite the fact it's a very popular spot, with huge lines every day.
Hmm how interesting. Could it possibly be that the budget advanded in the Tim Hortons' franchise template was based on part-time, minimum wage, no benefits staff salaries? And Eastern Health probably has regulations that require workers within its complex belong to a union.
But while the coffee shop itself is privately managed, its workers are unionized hospital employees, earning about $20 an hour, plus benefits.
What the Sun's union-bashing propaganda piece neglects to mention is that any revenue "lost" by Eastern Health went to Tim Hortons' investors and shareholders. And earning $20 an hour plus benefits, working in a busy high-stress environment seems appropriate to me.

Interestingly enough, it appears that none of the infotainment flaks who work for the Sun chain have expressed outrage about this
The bill [C-38] increases Gov. Gen. David Johnston's salary from $137,500 to $270,602 starting on Jan.1, 2013 — but he's no longer exempt from paying income tax. His salary was hiked to offset the taxman's bite.
His salary was doubled. Some *taxman's bite*. Remember, the governor general lives for free in luxurious housing including housekeeping staff and travels first-class to exotic locations - all paid by our taxes. Where's the shriEEEK, Sun Media?

Meanwhile in BC - as illustrated by the photo above - the customers' seating area outside the Tim Hortons' located in a hospital was temporarily used for patients arriving at Emergency during an unusually demanding health care critical period.


Dana said...

I'd be interested in your take on this

deBeauxOs said...

Link to story above.

Truly, I'm flabbergasted. I understand and support such policies; for example if someone on a bus where I was a passenger touched the bus driver in a similar manner to get her attention, I feel if would be appropriate for that individual to be required to get off the bus at the next stop.

But this decision demonstrates inhumane intransigeance on the part of the hospital and the RNs' union if there's no appeal procedure in this instance.

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