October is Women’s History Month
September 29, 2022
October is Women's History Month and we are proud to recognize and celebrate the contributions of women and girls to our past, present and future.
Nurses and health-care workers make their impact by tackling women’s issues head on, whether they are fighting for pay equity with their male colleagues or trying to end violence and harassment in the workplace. Their compassion and determination make them fierce advocates for their patients and clients, as well as strong role models for all Canadian girls and women.
Bill 124’s attack on women
In 2019, the Ford government introduced and passed Bill 124 wage-suppression legislation negatively impacting registered nurses, nurse practitioners, health-care professionals and other public-sector workers. This bill limits wage increases to a maximum of one per cent total compensation for each of three years.
Bill 124 disproportionately impacts women: 79 per cent of all workers impacted by Bill 124 are women, 82.6 per cent of all health-care workers are women and, according to the College of Nurses, over 90 per cent of its regulated health-care professionals registered with the College are women.
ONA’s legal team recently challenged Bill 124 in court. Counsel Danielle Bisnar carefully outlined how the legislation negatively and systematically impacts female-dominated professions. She stated, “It undermines bargaining power of women and did this at a time when their bargaining power would otherwise have been high due to the demand for their labour due to the pre-existing shortage and COVID pandemic.”
ONA has argued that our members deserve equal rights to engage in collective bargaining as their male counterparts, such as physicians, firefighters, and police, who were able to negotiate freely and without interference.
As ONA undertakes this Charter challenge case, we continue to call on the government to REPEAL BILL 124.
Learn more: About Bill 124 and Actions
- The labour movement plays an integral role in fighting for women’s equality in the workplace and in society. Visit the Canadian Labour Congress website for background on a variety of topics affecting women at work including pay equity, violence against women and more.
- Women in Canadian History: A Timeline
- The Canadian Women's Foundation shares "The Facts" about the negative impact of the pandemic on women.
- The Women and Gender Equality Canada works to "advance equality with respect to sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression through the inclusion of people of all genders, including women, in Canada’s economic, social, and political life." They cover a wide variety of topics including ending gender-based violence and increasing women’s economic security.
- Visit Ontario’s Pay Equity Commission website for information about employer obligations around pay equity and other resources.
- UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.
- Office of Women's Social and Economic Opportunity
- ONA's Human Rights and Equity team