Windsor-Essex County Public Health Nurses Voice Their Concerns for Patient Care: Nurses launch new radio ads, stress the need for public health services to be restored
March 20, 2019
WINDSOR, Ont., March 20, 2019 – Radio ads featuring Windsor and Essex County public health nurses began airing on five local radio stations Wednesday morning. This is the latest effort by the more than 80 Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) members to get back to work caring for and protecting their communities’ health and well-being since being forced onto the picket line by their employer more than a week ago.
“Having a baby can be stressful and overwhelming, and I am the only support that some families have,” said Dawn, RN, a public health nurse who works in the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit’s Healthy Families Program, and the voice on one of the five ads. “But right now, our community can’t get the help they need because public health nurses were forced off the job on March 8.”
Windsor and Essex public health nurses, who have been without a contract for almost a year, are asking for an equitable collective agreement that recognizes the critical work they do to ensure the public’s safety each and every day—and doesn’t further increase the pay gap between men and women.
“ONA has been very clear right from the beginning that we are prepared to negotiate,” says ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “It’s shocking that this employer, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, hasn’t returned to the negotiating table to do their part to get public health nurses back to work so these important community health services can be restored quickly. They have the power to make this a short strike.”
McKenna adds, “It’s 2019, a time of supposed equality for women and men. There’s no excuse for offering this group of female professionals less than the wage increases that have already been given to the male-dominated municipal employee groups in this community.”
All five of the radio spots end with a request for community members to help public health nurses get back to work by sending a message to the board of health online at ONA.org/windsor.
ONA is the union representing more than 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
Members of Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) Local 8 are the voices of the radio advertisements.
The ads are airing in rotation on five local radio stations operated by Bell Media and Blackburn Radio:
- AM 580 Motor City Favorites (CKWW-AM)
- AM 800 The Information Station (CKLW-AM)
- 93.9 The River (CIDR-FM)
- Country 95.9 (CJWF-FM)
- Mix 96.7 (CHYR-FM)
The public health nurses’ five radio ads are available online: