Thousands of Ontario Nurses and Supporters Picket For Better Staffing, Better Wages, Better Care

February 23, 2023

TORONTO, ON, February 23, 2023 – Thousands of front-line Registered Nurses (RNs) and health-care professionals are picketing across the province today, calling for better staffing, better wages and better care.

Joined by their labour partners and community members, the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) members are voicing their demands and showing their support for their bargaining team now in negotiations for a new hospital-sector contract.

“Our incredible RNs and health-care professionals have organized pickets in front of hospitals and Conservative MPPs’ offices,” says ONA Interim Provincial President Bernie Robinson, RN. “Our members have signalled that they will not tolerate the unsafe staffing, wage suppression or heavy workloads that are responsible for our members’ increasing inability to provide the best patient care possible.”

ONA members have organized the ‘All-Out Pickets’ – the second in a series of escalating actions. “We are demanding that hospital CEOs and the Ontario Hospital Association put patients first – by negotiating a better contract with nurses and health-care professionals,” says Robinson. “Without significant improvements, our public hospital care will continue to suffer.”

“Many nurses are leaving their jobs because of the intolerable working conditions,” she notes. “They are leaving because their wages have been eroded by three years of Ford’s unconstitutional wage cap and rising cost of living, while hospitals use private, for-profit nursing agencies that cost taxpayers two to three times more than public-sector nurses. A better contract means we can retain, recruit and attract nurses back to the system.”

The list of pickets is available online:

ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 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, industry and clinics.


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Katherine Russo