TORONTO, Feb. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario nurses say enough is enough following three futile weeks of bargaining with the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA). Contract talks came to an abrupt halt when the OHA team made a final offer which would result in the gutting of our wages, benefits and job security.
The union representing more than 58,000 hospital RNs has been clear from day one that RN workloads and lack of staffing are at crisis levels and something must be done immediately to stop the unprecedented wave of RN cuts, says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. The current collective agreement between ONA's hospital-sector RNs and their employers expires on March 31.
Haslam-Stroud is appalled at what has been tabled by the employer. She says that, "we will not bargain away our future or our ability to provide quality patient care. Neither are we prepared to devalue the contributions made by these crucial professionals." ONA stands firm in our commitment to negotiate an agreement that fairly reflects the contribution that RNs make to our patients.
Ontario's nurses are calling on the provincial government to give hospitals a wake-up call about the integral role that RNs play in the government's "Patients First" agenda. Registered Nurses have had enough of staffing shortages leading to death and disease, escalating workloads and violence. Nurses continue to suffer from work environments that contribute to the highest injury and illness rates of any profession.
Unsafe RN staffing levels have become more common as hospitals have cut RN positions to balance budgets; increasingly, RNs are finding they are unable to provide care consistent with the standards set by their regulator. Ontario has cut more than 1,200 RN positions in the past 13 months.
The message from Ontario's nurses is crystal clear: Our patients deserve better!
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 facilities, public health, the community, 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, Peter Birt, (416) 964-1979, ext. 2237, firstname.lastname@example.org