Huron Public Health Unit Registered Nurses attempting to avoid a strike
September 29, 2017
CLINTON – Public Health Nurses and Registered Nurses (RNs) working for the Huron Public Health Unit are going to conciliation talks on Monday as they seek a new contract with the Corporation of the County of Huron Health Unit.
The 32 Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) members have been without a contract since December 31, 2016.
“Our dedicated and skilled Public Health Nurses and Registered Nurses provide a full range of services to promote healthy infant and child development, prevent cancer, heart disease, substance abuse, tobacco use and injuries, and protect our communities from communicable and infectious disease outbreaks,” says Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, ONA President.
“They provide services across an area of 3,400 square kilometres and for a population of almost 60,000 people. Despite the fact that this is a rural area, our nurses are dealing with many of the same issues found in large urban areas, such as homelessness and addictions and overdoses,” she says. “Their services – including protecting communities from environmental hazards such as contaminated food and water – are invaluable to Huron County, and they are seeking a fair and respectful contract that reflects the value of the work they do.”
ONA has had three days of negotiations with the employer and the two sides will enter into conciliation on Monday, October 2.
“As nurses, we expect the employer to come to conciliation prepared to offer a fair contract to our skilled and knowledgeable Public Health Nurses and Registered Nurses, so they can continue to deliver excellent services to their community,” says Haslam-Stroud. “ONA always prefers to reach a negotiated settlement, but should conciliation fail, this employer may force our nurses to strike.”
ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as almost 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.