TORONTO, June 20, 2012 /CNW/ - The increase in the tax rate for those
with incomes of $500,000 or more per year, the pause on giving away
more tax revenue to large corporations in exchange for nothing, and the
removal of Schedule 30's unnecessary changes that would attack hospital
workers' right to a fair contract negotiation process are good news for
Ontario nurses, their patients and all Ontarians.
"Beginning to set a fair corporate tax rate again and increasing taxes
paid by the rich are good decisions, however the increased revenues
should be used to stop the cuts to front-line health care services that
are being experienced across the province," said Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, President of the Ontario Nurses' Association.
"Nonetheless, the budget passed today is better than the one that was
originally proposed and I want to thank nurses for their advocacy on
behalf of their patients. Many nurses contacted their Members of
Provincial Parliament and some even went to Queen's Park to meet with
MPPs this spring."
"Thank you to MPPs on the Finance Committee who took the time to
thoughtfully debate and amend the provincial budget, despite an
unwarranted onslaught of criticism for doing exactly what they were
elected to do."
One part of Bill 55, the proposed 2012 omnibus provincial budget bill,
that was removed by the committee would have gutted the arbitration
legislation governing hospital workers—the Hospital Labour Disputes
Arbitration Act (HLDAA).
Arbitration is a fair alternative to labour disruptions in the public
sector. It is the trade-off for taking away the democratic right of
some workers, including most nurses, to strike.
The Hon. Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance, has indicated his intention
to bring back the arbitration provisions that were deleted from the
2012 budget when the legislature resumes sitting in the fall.
"The government is suggesting it will again attempt to attack the right
of nurses to have a fair process for determining their working
conditions. We urge the government not to gut this fair and reasonable
law that has served the province well for nearly 50 years."
"Nurses did not cause the budget deficit that the Ontario government
claims is the motivation for gutting the fair and functioning
arbitration system. We are committed to stopping any attacks designed
to make nurses pay for a recession and deficit we did not cause."
Nurses continue to be concerned about the Government Services and
Service Providers Act, 2012, previously known as Bill 55's Schedule 28.
"As passed, this new law does not address important matters of oversight
that were raised by the Ontario Ombudsman," said Haslam-Stroud.
"More importantly, the governing party did not seek nor receive a
mandate from Ontario voters during the last election to sell off public
"In fact, especially in the case of health care, the governing party
accused Progressive Conservatives of hiding their intention to
privatize public services and criticized the shortsightedness of such a
"Nurses will be watching closely to make sure that no health care
services are privatized because the evidence shows that the quality of
care is reduced when profit enters the equation."
ONA is the union representing 59,000 registered nurses and allied health
professions, and more than 13,000 nursing student affiliates providing
care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health,
the community, industry and clinics.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
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