ONA Secures Retention Bonus For All Front-Line Nurses, Other Measures to Address Nursing Crisis

February 11, 2022

TORONTO, Ont., February 11, 2022 – Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) President Cathryn Hoy, RN has met with Premier Doug Ford for a second time and has negotiated a good-faith retention bonus for all front-line nurses in publicly-funded facilities.

“While the Premier has not agreed to repeal Bill 124 – yet – we have negotiated concrete commitments to implement several measures to fix Ontario’s serious nursing shortage,” says Hoy. The government will resurrect the Late-Career Nursing Initiative, the New Graduate program, and will work with the Ontario Hospital Association to ensure exhausted nurses can take vacation. While the Premier has not agreed to repeal Bill 124 at this time, it is not off the table for further discussion and ONA will press the Premier on this issue.”

Hoy says, “We will continue to meet with the government and we are pleased with the commitment today to collaborate with ONA on ongoing programs to retain nurses.”

Hoy notes that, “The retention bonus negotiated today is for a lump-sum, $5,000 payment and the Premier indicated that this will go to the Treasury Board as early as next week for approval and further details on implementation.”

There is further consultation planned, including initial conversations about fast-tracking RPN-to-RN bridging programs and ensuring a speedier process for IENs to enter the workforce.  ONA also raised the need for more full-time nursing positions – with a target of 70 per cent full-time – and the Premier did not disagree.

ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as more than 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

For more information: 

Sheree Bond shereeb@ona.org

Katherine Russo katheriner@ona.org