Ontario Nurses, Health-Care Professionals in Hospital Sector Receive Arbitration Award
July 31, 2018
TORONTO – Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) nurses and health-care professional members working in the hospital sector will learn details of their new two-year contract today.
The contract for 61,000 hospital members is the result of an arbitration award; the contract includes a wage increase of 1.4 per cent retroactive to April 1, 2018 and a 1.75-per-cent increase on April 1, 2019. The contract expires on March 31, 2020.
“These wage increases do not reflect the value of the care of our dedicated members,” said ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “However, they are significantly higher than the increases proposed by the employer. This contract is certainly not everything our dedicated registered nurses and health-care professionals hoped it would be. However, the award does provide for some improvement in benefits, and it clarifies that the obligation to keep workplaces free from violence includes being free from domestic violence.
“Heavy workload issues and workplace violence continue to be of deep concern to ONA members,” McKenna notes, “as they impact both the safety of their patients and their own work lives.”
In addition, there is now protection for new nursing graduates who do not pass the controversial NCLEX entry-to-practice exam. “Rather than being terminated if they have secured employment, the nursing graduates can take an unpaid leave until they achieve certification,” McKenna said.
McKenna notes that arbitrator William Kaplan did not agree to the concessions sought by the Ontario Hospital Association.
ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.