Media Statement: Ontario Hospital Registered Nurses, Health-Care Professionals Deeply Disappointed with New Arbitrated Contract
June 9, 2020
TORONTO, June 9, 2020 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is deeply disappointed that the province’s hospital-sector registered nurses (RNs) and health-care professionals will see just a one-per-cent wage increase retroactive to April 1, 2020 and one per cent at the end of the contract (April 1, 2021) in a one-year, arbitrated contract.
“Our hospital-sector RNs and health-care professionals have been hailed as heroes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” notes ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “They have put their health and the health of their own families at risk to provide care for their patients, even without necessarily having access to proper protective equipment. Yet, due to the provincial government’s wage suppression legislation (Bill 124 – Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act), Ontario’s highly skilled RNs will again fall further behind with a wage increase that does not come close to the rate of inflation or the increases received by their male comparators.”
ONA members will learn more details of arbitrator John Stout’s decision later this week.
RNs and health-care professionals have suffered under austerity measures implemented by successive governments for more than a decade, with increases of less than the rate of inflation for many consecutive years. They have worked long, very difficult hours throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and hundreds have been infected with the coronavirus due to a lack of PPE.
“RNs continue to be the backbone of our health-care system,” says McKenna. “We want to be at the bedside, to provide care for those who need us, and employers demand that dedication. Yet at the bargaining table, employers and government continue to undervalue and disrespect our female-dominated professionals. RNs have been constrained from reaching a fair agreement. This is unacceptable.”
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as more than 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
For more information:
Sheree Bond 416-986-8240; firstname.lastname@example.org