Public Health Nurses Give Their All During Pandemic Seek Fair Contract at Conciliation

October 30, 2020

OWEN SOUND, October 30, 2020 – After working without a contract for close to one year, Grey Bruce public health nurses will seek a fair, respectful contract in conciliation next Tuesday, November 3.

“Our extraordinary public health nurses have worked seven days a week, dedicating long additional hours to protect the 150,000 residents of Grey Bruce County,” says Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) President Vicki McKenna, RN. “Our nurses have more than demonstrated their commitment to the community, stepping up during the pandemic, and remain optimistic that their employer will also step up and give them the respect they have more than earned.”

ONA and the employer have held three days of bargaining over the past year. The nurses’ previous contract expired on December 31, 2019.

McKenna notes that there is no reason a fair contract cannot be reached. “The 43 nurses at Grey Bruce Health Unit go above and beyond to provide services and programs, ranging from immunization clinics, sexual health clinics and the Healthy Babies program,” she says. “COVID-19 means that in addition, our public health nurses are also dedicated to contact tracing and stopping the spread of the coronavirus. Those deployed to schools must cover an area the size of Prince Edward Island.”

McKenna says ONA expects this employer to “negotiate a fair collective agreement that values the care nurses provide to their community. We remain optimistic that the employer will come to conciliation prepared to reach an agreement as well.”

ONA is the union representing 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.

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For more information:

Sheree Bond (416) 986-8240 (cell)