Multiple Ontario Municipalities Calling on Ford Government to Repeal Bill 124

April 21, 2022

Town Councils in Malahide, Aylmer, vote to support nurses and health-care professionals

TORONTO, ON, April 21, 2022 – The Township Council of Malahide is just one of several Ontario municipalities that has called on the Ontario government to recognize the severity of the health human resources crisis in Ontario and take urgent action to recruit and retain skilled, experienced nurses and health-care professionals by repealing Bill 124.

Since its introduction by the Ford government in 2019, Bill 124 has unfairly suppressed the wages of nurses and health-care professionals at a time when their skills are needed more than ever. Chronic shortages of nurses and health-care professionals in hospitals, clinical settings, long-term care, and health care are leading to burnout and overwork as the pandemic continues to take a toll. The Bill prevents these public-sector workers from freely negotiating a collective agreement and holds their total wage and benefits increase to one per cent for each of three years.

“Nurses and health-care professionals have been working tirelessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and before, to provide the care that Ontarians need, including in our local community,” says Marylee Lee, the registered nurse who raised the issue with her local Council. “It is heartening that the Malahide and Aylmer Councils are standing in solidarity with nurses and health-care professionals as we call on Premier Ford to repeal Bill 124 and treat us with respect. I hope other municipalities will follow their lead. Rural health-care organizations are also feeling the stress of the nursing shortage and repealing Bill 124 would go a long way in improving public, quality health care in our communities for the years ahead.”

Malahide Council voted to call for the repeal of Bill 124 on April 7; Aylmer Council passed a similar motion on April 20. A motion was received by the St Thomas City Council meeting on April 19. Penetanguishene Council has passed a motion to call for the repeal of the Bill.

“Our members have been on the frontlines day after day, year after year during this pandemic,” says Cathryn Hoy, RN, President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association. “In passing this motion calling on the province to repeal Bill 124, the governments of Malahide and Aylmer and other municipalities are standing up for nurses and health-care professionals and saying ‘yes, these members of our community deserve to be paid fairly for their work and sacrifices.’”

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.

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Sheree Bond

Katherine Russo