CUPE Hospitals

CUPE Hospitals

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada's largest health care union.

The Clerical Workforce is Changing

Tech Change is Changing Hospital Clerical Work

CUPE Hospitals

The Workforce is Changing

The goal of Canada Health Infoway, a federally funded body created 11 years ago to help the provinces and territories implement innovative digital technologies, is to improve the health of Canadians while reducing costs.

To date, Infoway has invested more than $2 billion toward the digital makeover of health systems across the country.

Infoway CEO Michael Green said now that Canadian hospitals and physicians are well on their way, the next step is to advance the systems to streamline services for patients.

By 2020-2021 we expect to see:

  • Enhanced patient care and health system integration through networks of hospitals using common HIS’s and clinical standards.
  • HIS services will be delivered province wide by a small number of high-quality provincial HIS services.
  • Hospital Clusters (groups of hospitals with a shared population) and Provincial HIS services
  • Provincial HIS services will deliver comprehensive, managed HIS services to hospital clusters and SSOs province wide.
  • Services will be offered for specific HIS vendor solutions and provide provincially standardized HIS services

Three HIS systems being rolled out:


58 percent of hospitals use MEDITECH’s Electronic Health Record System


worked with Grey Bruce Health Services (GBHS), Toronto East General Hospital (TEGH) and North York General Hospital (NYGH) to extend the Cerner Hospital Information System (HIS) to select Ambulatory (outpatient) Clinics.


HIS-Health Information System. Simultaneous access to patient charts from any location at any time, eliminating chart pulls and decreasing workflow bottlenecks that may occur with a paper chart; time saved by enabling documentation created as a by-product of the office workflow, reducing the need for transcription and review of progress notes.

Job Security

Clerical positions are already being cut at many hospitals across the Province either through attrition or layoffs. CUPE members are protected from layoffs by CUPE’s strong Job Security Language. You can read more about how CUPE can protect you during technological change, restructuring and cuts to healthcare funding on the back of this bulletin.

CUPE is Canada’s Health Care Union

CUPE represents more than 80,000 CUPE members working in hospitals, long-term care, community care and paramedicine, 40,000 of those members work at 120 sites of more than 60 hospitals.

CUPE bargains a provincial collective agreement with the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) and lays that pattern down across the hospital sector. Because we have the strongest collective agreement in the province – and we enforce it – CUPE hospital locals have the lowest rate of layoff in Ontario.

Job Security

5 Months Notice of Layoff

Under the CUPE Central collective agreement, the employer must give the union 5 months’ written notice of any pending layoffs or elimination of positions (including a reduction in hours). CUPE’s Redeployment Committee is entitled to ask for and to review all pertinent staffing and budget information related to the layoffs or the elimination of positions.

CUPE’s Early Retirement Packages and Exit Packages

Early retirement and voluntary exit packages must be offered to the same number of people that the hospital would other-wise be laying off before any individual can receive notice of layoff. This way any worker close to retirement can retire if they choose, opening up positions for more junior employees and preventing layoffs.

CUPE’s Chain Bumping

Employers don’t want to layoff CUPE members because there is a domino effect coming as a result of ‘chain bumping’. The CUPE collective agreement provides for ‘chain bumping’ in the event of a layoff, which is the right to bump anyone with less seniority than you in any job that you can do in the bargaining unit, in any department, on any shift. And anyone that you bump can also bump anyone whose job she can do at any site, on any schedule, on any shift that she chooses. This is superior to any other health care union’s language in Ontario.

CUPE’s Training Requirement

The Redeployment Committee identifies the training needs of workers who are or who would otherwise be laid off, and facilitates the training. The Hospital is required to award vacant positions to workers who would otherwise be laid off if, with six months retraining, they become able to meet the normal requirements of the job. This is especially relevant for anyone wishing to retrain on new technology systems being introduced.

Because of our strong job security language, CUPE has the lowest rate of layoff and job cuts in the healthcare sector in Ontario.

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The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is Canada's largest health care union.