TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2015 /CNW/ - Three thousand registered nurses, registered practical nurses and allied health professionals working in Ontario nursing homes have a new two-year agreement that provides them with wage increases in both years – and is a stark contrast with the offer provided to Community Care Access Centre health professionals.
"Our skilled and dedicated nursing home nurses and allied health professionals have been heard, and their value recognized in a new two-year deal that gives them a 1.5 per cent increase in the first year and 1.4 per cent in the second," said Ontario Nurses' Association President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "By contrast, the Community Care Access Centre employers have yet to come to the table prepared to offer our health professionals the same respect and fairness as enjoyed by 57,000 ONA nurses in the hospital, long-term care, public health and nursing homes sectors."
The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) nursing homes-sector members have been fighting the efforts by their employers – private, for-profit nursing home owners – who wanted to cut the number of RNs caring for the province's frail, elderly patients, and to keep RN wages lower than those in homes for the aged and hospitals.
"Their greedy employers wanted to cut RN care in our nursing homes," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "At a time when staffing increases are desperately needed for quality patient care, efforts to cut RN staffing even more are unconscionable. Today, our frail and elderly patients are better off because our RNs truly advocated for them."
She adds that, "in addition, nursing home RNs have made progress in their quest for wage parity with homes for the aged and hospital nurses. This is good news for our homes-sector nurses. It unfortunately leaves our CCAC members as the only large group of ONA members without a current collective agreement. Our vital members have been forced to strike in the name of fairness and remain on the picket lines to fight for the respect shown nurses in every other sector."
Following a meeting this morning, the homes-sector nurses will show their support for our CCAC members by joining them on the picket lines in North York and Scarborough.
ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care, the community, public health, clinics and industry.
Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext.2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; firstname.lastname@example.org; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369; email@example.com