Back Pay Awarded to Nursing Home Workers in Bill 124 Reopener

March 24, 2023

Arbitration Decision Provides Additional Wage Increase to Non-Profit Nursing Home Registered Nurses, Health-Care Professionals

– Arbitrator John Stout has released a decision on additional wage increases for registered nurses (RNs), registered practical nurses (RPNs) and health-care professionals working in Ontario’s non-profit nursing homes.

Their wages and benefits had been held to a maximum of one per cent per year for each of three years under the Ford government’s unconstitutional legislation, Bill 124. ONA negotiated a wage reopener clause in 2021 that allowed the union to go back to the table for additional compensation should Bill 124 be declared unconstitutional, which occurred late last year after ONA and other unions challenged it in court.

As a result of this arbitration decision, an additional .75-per-cent annual increase will be paid retroactively to July 1, 2021 to ONA members working in this sector. Impacted ONA members will also see some other increases to benefits, wages, premiums and vacations. The increases are in line with those received by ONA members working in for-profit nursing homes who were not subject to the cap imposed by Bill 124.

While this is an arbitrated decision and not a negotiated increase, it is a small step toward better wages for nurses and health-care professionals who have had their constitutional rights to freely negotiate suppressed.

ONA members across the province continue to organize and press for significant improvements to compensation to assist in retention and recruitment and ensure Ontarians receive the timely, high-quality health care they need and deserve in their public system.

ONA is the union representing 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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To arrange an interview, contact:

Sheree Bond

Katherine Russo

Find Bill 124 reopener documents, including highlights of the collective agreement changes and the full award, on our Bargaining Updates page under Nursing Homes Bargaining Updates.