Media Statement: Hope is not bargaining, say Hastings & Prince Edward Public Health nurses
August 10, 2023
BELLEVILLE, ON, August 10, 2023 – Just over 50 registered nurses, public health nurses and registered practical nurses providing a range of care and services to the people of the county have shown unwavering dedication to those they serve and have done everything possible to negotiate a fair new contract with their employer.
The Executive of the health unit has now advised the community of potential service interruptions and says that it “hopes” to reach an agreement with these dedicated Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) members.
Should the nurses be forced by this employer to withdraw services, the citizens of Hastings & Prince Edward County should be aware that nurses have gone above and beyond the norm to negotiate a fair collective agreement that respects their work. Public health nurses believe in health equity and strive to promote and protect the health of this community, which has a shortage of primary care providers. The nurses continue their efforts to do everything possible to avoid being forced to strike. This employer triggered the countdown to a strike when it filed for a no-board report and set the current situation in motion.
Nurses note that throughout bargaining and conciliation, the employer came to the table with one monetary offer only, showing no good faith and refusing to negotiate fairly. The employer has declined a generous and unusual offer by the nurses to go to voluntary arbitration in order to avoid a strike. We ask the people of this county to understand that this is about fairness and to support the nurses who provide services to them.
‘Hope’ is not bargaining. It’s time for the employer to make a fair offer.