Nurses Deliver Thousands of Petitions to Queen’s Park, Calling for Better Staffing, Better Wages and Better Care in Public Hospitals

May 9, 2023

TORONTO, ON – As nurses across the country celebrate National Nursing Week, members of the by the Ontario Nurses’ Association are submitting thousands of signatures on a petition to the Ford government calling for better staffing, better wages and better care in the province’s overwhelmed and critically understaffed public hospitals.

“Nurses have been fighting the good fight, taking care of their patients, and standing up for Ontarians, despite incredible odds,” says Erin Ariss, RN, ONA Provincial President. “Nurses and health-care professionals are the backbone of our health-care system, and today they are fighting for their patients once again by delivering thousands of petition signatures demanding the Ford government, and hospital CEOs, value nurses and patient care. This starts by improving wages and conditions to retain and recruit staff.”

The petitions will be tabled in the legislature by members of the official opposition, the Ontario NDP, starting today and over the course of the next month. Thousands of signatures were collected through a community day of action organized by ONA members in late April, with more being added daily.

“There is a groundswell of support for nurses and health-care professionals and for improving high quality and accessible health care in our public system. Yet instead of investing in public health care, Doug Ford and his PC government are pushing ahead with their disastrous privatization agenda, which will only make staffing shortages worse and hurt patient care,” notes Ariss.

More than 60,000 hospital nurses represented by ONA have been organizing for months to support their bargaining priorities and achieve a better contract with the Ontario Hospital Association. After being stonewalled in efforts to reach a negotiated collective agreement for the last 12 years, ONA once again headed to arbitration with the OHA last week.

“If the Ford government truly cares about patients and the nurses who provide their care, and not just their wealthy investor buddies looking to turn a profit, they will improve wages and staffing in our public hospitals, so Ontarians no longer have to wait for high quality public health care when they need it most.”

The Ontario Nurses’ Association 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.


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Katherine Russo