TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2015 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) believes that the highly paid CEOs of nine Ontario Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) have been thumbing their noses at patient suffering and their own staff during a two-week labour dispute with 3,000 ONA RNs and health professionals.
Last night, mediated talks again failed when the employers tabled substantially the same offer that had been previously rejected by ONA members.
"ONA's bargaining team brought suggestions to mediation of how to end this impasse and return the invaluable care that our CCAC health experts bring to their patients," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.
Today, the Minister of Health issued a statement urging that both sides resume negotiations and agree to interest arbitration to resolve the current impasse.
While Haslam-Stroud is pleased that the government has finally intervened, she notes that ONA offered to go to arbitration to settle the dispute months ago in order to prevent our RNs and health care professionals from being frozen out on the picket lines. Our offer still stands.
"Unfortunately, the greedy employers rejected arbitration to strong-arm our CCAC health professionals and force them out of their workplaces. Since then, CCAC management has been trying to apply a band-aid in community care while it is rapidly bleeding out."
Haslam-Stroud says that the strike has taken a toll on the entire health-care system, in particular our patients in hospital, long-term care homes and the community. "Ontarians have not been receiving the health-care they need and deserve," she says, and there have been cancelled surgeries, overcrowded emergency departments, and vulnerable seniors needing assessment and services while the CCAC CEOs continue to stonewall us."
"The essential health advocacy and care ONA members provide is vital if the government's vision of a robust community care system for this province is to be the reality," Haslam-Stroud said. She adds that, "Rather than helping our essential community health care experts get back to caring for their patients, CEOs prefer to spend our taxpayers' dollars on high-priced lawyers to take legal action against a group, predominantly women, whose sole objective is to be treated with the same professional respect as 57,000 other RNs in Ontario are. It's time for these CEOs to stop pocketing our valuable health care funding and share these resources with those who deliver the front-line services to our community."
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.
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