TORONTO, May 2, 2014 /CNW/ - An arbitrated compensation award affecting
Ontario's hospital nurses was issued on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. The
award includes wage increases for nurses of 1.4%, effective April 1,
2014 and 1.4%, effective April 1, 2015.
In response to the award, Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) President
and CEO, Anthony Dale, released the following statement:
"Ontario's hospitals value the role of nurses tremendously. Nursing is
extremely important to providing high quality patient care, and so we
absolutely want Ontario's nurses to be fairly compensated.
At the same time, the Province of Ontario is facing intense fiscal
challenges. These realities helped inform hospitals' bargaining mandate
with the nurses' union. Throughout the collective bargaining process
Ontario's hospitals sought to reach a voluntary agreement that married
our respect for nurses with what was affordable for hospitals and the
province, similar to what two other unions representing health care
workers had voluntarily agreed to.
The arbitration award released earlier this week demonstrates
fundamental weaknesses within Ontario's arbitration system.
For the past three years, Ontario hospitals have had their base
operating budgets held at zero per cent. They have worked hard to find
efficiencies wherever possible, but will continue to face significant
pressures if they are to further contain cost growth and meet
increasing service demands into the future.
The purpose of arbitration is replication, and the recent arbitration
award for hospitals and nurses is inconsistent with what has previously
voluntarily agreed to with other health care employees. By straying
from recent patterns of agreements with other unions representing
health care professionals, the arbitration award for nurses will
generate significant additional cost pressures for hospitals - costs
that will compound in the years ahead.
In year one, the award will cost hospitals approximately $61.8 million.
In year two, and the following years, the 1.4% will be compounded by an
additional $62.7 million dollars, totaling $124.6 million
Ontario's hospitals believe in fair and reasonable compensation for all
health care professionals. Hospitals also strive to maximize the use
of their financial resources in order to maintain and enhance access to
care. Wednesday's arbitration award clearly demonstrates that Ontario's
interest arbitration system does not promote health system
sustainability. A modernization of the provincial interest arbitration
system is required."
The Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) is the voice of Ontario's public
hospitals. Founded in 1924, the OHA uses advocacy, education and
partnerships to build a strong, innovative and sustainable health care
system for all Ontarians.
SOURCE: Ontario Hospital Association
For further information:
Amy Clark, OHA Public Affairs