Region of Waterloo Public Health Nurses Seek Fair, Respectful Contract at Conciliation
February 21, 2023
KITCHENER, ON, February 21, 2023 – Region of Waterloo Public Health Nurses, members of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), are heading to conciliation talks today, calling on their employer to come to the table prepared to reach a fair and respectful contract that acknowledges the ongoing public health services they deliver to meet the needs of their community.
“Region of Waterloo Public Health Nurses have provided services seven days a week, showing extraordinary flexibility to meet the needs of the community and dedicating long additional hours to protect people across the region throughout the pandemic and beyond,” says ONA Interim Provincial President Bernie Robinson, RN. “They continue to go above and beyond for their community and we expect this employer to recognize, respect and value the work they do every day.”
The Health Unit employs 127 full-time and 58 temporary Public Health Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses. Together, they provide a wide range of services and care to the people of the Region of Waterloo, with a population of more than 623,000 spread over three cities and four townships.
“Over the past three years, our Public Health Nurses have shown extraordinary strength in the face of a deadly worldwide pandemic,” says Robinson. “Despite constantly changing work hours and the need to pivot to fill gaps in services, our members have been steadfast in providing services. They ensured the community received care and support with pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting, sexual health and tuberculosis response, and so much more, despite also working to control COVID-19 outbreaks. The constant new surges in infection have resulted in our nurses working seven days a week for three years, sacrificing time with their families and resulting in burnout and exhaustion. It’s unacceptable to not show respect to our nurses.”
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.