Longwoods Blog

From The National Post

WINDSOR . Windsor Regional Hospital in Ontario is losing up to $265,000 a year operating Tim Hortons outlets on its premises, a drain so severe that the hospital is considering cutting cafeteria hours by as much as 50%. The revelation comes the same week that the St. John’s Health Sciences Centre in Newfoundland said it would turn a Tim Hortons outlet over to the private sector after experiencing similar losses.

At the Windsor hospital, taxpayers are subsidizing losses from the three kiosks featuring Tim Hortons – one of the most successful restaurant chains in Canada – largely because the coffee-pourers are well-paid CAW workers. Windsor Regional Hospital servers make about $26 an hour – $20 in wages, the rest in benefits. At regular Tim Hortons outlets, which are typically profitable, wages vary. One employee said she started at the Ontario minimum wage of $10.25 an hour.

“The hospital’s options are either try to get a lower rate with the union, in order to make it closer to break-even, or reduce cafeteria hours,” hospital president David Musyj said.

In all, the hospital loses about $500,000 on all its cafeteria services – which are apart from the in-room food the hospital prepares for patients. That could pay for five extra full-time registered nurses.

“Most Tim Hortons locations operated by hospitals … make a profit,” Alexandra Cygal, Tim Hortons manager of public affairs, said in an email.

Mr. Musyj said his hands are tied by a collective agreement which forbids the hospital from contracting out the work. But he said the hospital board hopes to negotiate a lower wage with its union.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 1st, 2012 at 10:32 am and is filed under Longwoods Online.