Nurses, Health-Care Professionals Say Time’s Up, Take Direct Action for Better Care Now
April 5, 2023
TORONTO, ON., April 5, 2023 – Hundreds of nurses and health-care professionals who are members of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) and their supporters are holding a direct action to highlight the urgent need for better staffing, wages and care in our public hospitals and throughout Ontario’s public health-care system.
“Time is running out,” says ONA Interim Provincial President Bernie Robinson, RN. “When nurses and health-care professionals are lying in the street and blocking busy Toronto intersections, it is a sign of how dire the situation is. Ontario will soon need more than 34,000 nurses. Without action, patients will continue to suffer and even die.”
Demonstrators are calling on the Ford government, Ontario Hospital Association and hospital CEOs to take urgent action to improve public hospital care and settle a better contract with 60,000 ONA members who provide care in the province’s public hospitals.
Ontario currently has the lowest starting wages for nurses in Canada. Better wages and safe staffing levels will help retain nurses in the public system, and ensure patients receive timely and high-quality public hospital care. “Instead of investing in public health care, this government is fighting nurses in court and handing taxpayers’ dollars to private, for-profit clinics. Meanwhile, hospital CEOs failed to bargain a better contract with nurses that would improve staffing and patient care.”
Robinson urges Ontarians to use their voices and tell decision-makers to value nurses and public health care. “Nurses are patient advocates, and we want to provide better care. That’s why we are demanding action from this government and hospital CEOs – now.”
ONA is the union representing 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care, public health, the community, clinics and industry.