Ontario Hospital Nurses Begin Contract Talks Determined to Achieve Better Pay, Better Staffing and Better Patient Care
January 30, 2023
TORONTO, ON, January 30, 2023 – Contract talks between the Ontario Nurses’ Association’s (ONA) 60,000 hospital nurses and health-care professionals and the Ontario Hospital Association have begun, with ONA members determined to reach a new deal that meets their demands.
“Ontario cannot afford anything less than a better deal for nurses and their patients,” says ONA Interim Provincial President Bernie Robinson, RN. “ONA is putting the Ontario Hospital Association on notice that the days of nurses and health-care professionals swallowing unconstitutional wage caps and untenable working conditions are over. Retaining our desperately needed hospital nurses and addressing the critical staffing shortages hurting patient care requires a better deal for nurses and our patients.”
Robinson says this round of bargaining is pivotal to retaining those who care deeply about high-quality patient care but are also fed up with the treatment they have faced at the hands of the Ford government and many of their employers.
ONA’s top-two issues are staffing shortages and wages. Nurses are demanding better wages that reflect the rising cost of living and the wages stolen from them for the past three years by Premier Ford’s unconstitutional Bill 124 wage cap law, and other changes to support better staffing levels and enable them to provide timely and high-quality care for Ontarians.
Robinson notes that addressing inadequate wages will help address staffing shortages. “By increasing wages, it is more likely that we can retain nurses considering leaving their jobs, and that many nurses who have left the system these past few years may be recruited back into our hospitals. This would ease the nursing shortage and improve patient care.”
ONA and its members have planned for a series of escalating actions over the coming weeks, the first of which is scheduled for later this week.
“We urge the public to show support for nurses and health-care professionals in our fight for a better deal,” says Robinson. “Ontario’s hospital nurses and health-care professionals are united in their resolve to achieve a better deal that will ensure Ontarians get the care they need and deserve.” Robinsons notes the public can visit Value Nurses to show their support.
ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 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.