Bargaining Breaks Down for Hospital RNs

February 3, 2018

ONA says concessions demanded would impede ability to provide quality patient care

TORONTO – Following 13 straight days at the bargaining table, talks between the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) and the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) have broken down.

“Unfortunately, 10 days of talks and three days of mediation have resulted in little meaningful progress in reaching a new contract for Ontario’s highly skilled and educated registered nurses and health-care professionals,” said ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “The concessions being demanded by the OHA team show that these employers are unwilling to acknowledge the reality of the shortage of registered nurses and how it diminishes the ability of front-line RNs to deliver quality patient care.”

McKenna adds that, “The reality is that as patient acuity in our hospitals rises, we need more RNs to provide that quality patient care, not fewer. The refusal of the OHA team to recognize and act on this will increase risk to the increasing volume of patients in our hospitals, including for those being cared for in hospital hallways.”

Over the past decade, Ontario hospitals have cut thousands of RNs from the front lines. Ontario now has the worst RN-to-population ratio of any province in the country. Heavy workloads have left RNs challenged to care for ever-increasing numbers of patients. Multiple studies have found that as RNs are required to care for more patients, patients are at increased risk of suffering complications such as pneumonia, sepsis, infection, hospital readmission and even death.

“ONA is unwilling to accept the concessions demanded by the OHA,” said McKenna. “We had hoped to reach a negotiated settlement, but the disrespect shown to our invaluable RNs is disheartening and unacceptable. It is well past time that hospital employers acknowledge that as RNs, we strive every day to provide the care our patients need and deserve. Our patients know the reality of short-staffing of RNs, and the truth hurts.”

ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as more than 16,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.


For more information:  Ontario Nurses’ Association

Sheree Bond  (416) 986-8240;