Algoma Public Health Nurses, Nurse Practitioners Attempting to Avoid Being Forced Out on Strike
February 27, 2018
SAULT STE. MARIE – Public Health Nurses and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) working for Algoma Public Health Unit are entering into conciliation talks with their employer as they seek a new contract.
The 58 Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) members have been without a contract since April 1, 2017.
“Our dedicated and skilled nurses provide a full range of services to promote the health of our communities, prevent illness and injury, and protect residents from communicable and infectious disease outbreaks,” said ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “Among the services our nurses provide to the approximately 114,094 residents in the District of Algoma (including Wawa, White River, Elliott Lake, Blind River and Thessalon) are clinical services such as Healthy Babies/Healthy Children home visits, lactation consultation services, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, HIV/AIDS rapid testing, affordable birth control, infection control of communicable diseases, immunization clinics, smoking cessation supports, and much, much more.
“Public Health Nurses and our Nurse Practitioners are dedicated to ensuring the best health for their communities,” said McKenna. “From prenatal support for mothers and support for families, to youth services, seniors’ services, control and treatment of infectious diseases, their care and knowledge is there for their community.”
ONA has had four days of negotiations with the employer; the two sides will begin conciliation on March 1, 2018.
“As nurses who have been through tremendous amounts of organizational turmoil and change over the past few years, we expect the employer to come prepared to offer a fair contract to our skilled and knowledgeable Public Health Nurses and NPs, so that they can continue to deliver excellent services to the community,” said McKenna. “ONA always prefers to reach a negotiated settlement, and we encourage this employer to not force nurses to strike.”
ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.