Striking Public Health Nurses, CUPE Members Hold an All-Out Rally Calling on Board of Health for Fair Contracts

September 6, 2023

BELLEVILLE, ON., September 6, 2023 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are amping up the pressure on the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties’ Board of Health today, holding an “All-Out” rally outside as the board meets inside. Workers were joined by members of their unions, community supporters, clients, local and national labour representatives and politicians.

“Public health workers who care deeply about the residents they serve are standing in unwavering solidarity to send a message loud and clear to the Board of Health,” said ONA Provincial President Erin Ariss, RN. “Workers refuse to be bullied and intimidated into accepting real wage cuts that are making it harder and harder to make ends meet.

“By refusing to bargain a fair offer for our invaluable nurses and health-care workers, you are intentionally risking the health and wellness of the very residents you are mandated to serve. From the school kids who must be fully vaccinated to return to class to newborn infants and their families, you have failed your communities.”

The 50 nurses who provide care and services to residents of Hastings and Prince Edward Counties have been on the picket line for more than two weeks and may soon be joined by members of CUPE after the board of health once again refused to negotiate a fair offer.

“When COVID hit, we saw so clearly the vital role that public health workers play in keeping us healthy and our communities safe,” said CUPE Ontario President Fred Hahn. “The pandemic also woke us up to the value of these jobs and to the value of the people who do them. This awareness is growing across the province, and in Hastings and Prince Edward counties, we see it among ONA members and CUPE Ontario members, too. Workers will no longer be bullied or intimidated into accepting contracts that don’t respect them, the work they do, or the needs of the people they serve.”

There has been no movement from the Board of Health regarding reopening talks with ONA. CUPE public health workers expect to soon be a in legal strike position.


To arrange an interview, contact:

ONA Media

CUPE Communications Representative, Katrina McGaughey