ONA Stands in Solidarity with CUPE 3903

April 24, 2024

We proudly support members of CUPE 3903. We recognize the notable gains they have achieved and their resilience in their recent strike action.

A message from ONA President Erin Ariss, RN:

On behalf of its 68,000 members and 18,000 nursing student affiliates, the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) congratulates CUPE 3903 members who began their strike action on Monday, February 26. Over 3,000 CUPE members, went on strike to demand better wages and working conditions. Under Bill 124, your salaries were capped at only 1 per cent per year, which is far below the inflation rate.

During the strike, ONA was appalled to hear that the School of Nursing at York decided to continue all clinical placements in flagrant disregard for their unionized colleagues who were on strike and had been without a collective agreement since August 31, 2023. York's decision to hire scab workers undermined the ability of union members to bargain freely and, more broadly, the rights of workers to strike and demand better wages and working conditions. This form of union-busting is unprincipled and does little to further meaningful and good-faith bargaining. Furthermore, rushing nursing students to achieve their clinical/practicum hours in a short time frame while their instructors were on strike not only put students in a precarious position but also put their future patients at risk if these students did not gain the substantive training and skills needed to be successful.

ONA stands in solidarity with the clinical course directors and nursing students as they continue to navigate this situation. ONA commends CUPE 3903 members for staying strong and resilient in their fight for high-quality education, equity, and academic integrity. ONA hopes that York will implement a student-centred remediation plan so that students can receive the high-quality education they need and deserve to serve Ontario best. Congratulations on your success and achievements!


Erin Ariss, RN
President, Ontario Nurses' Association