Chatham-Kent Public Health Nurses Heading to Conciliation

Nurses seeking new collective agreement

CHATHAM, ON, Sept. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Forty-one public health nurses working for the Chatham-Kent Health Unit will head to conciliation tomorrow.

The highly trained and skilled nurses, nurse practitioners and public health nurses -- members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) -- are hoping to reach a new collective agreement with this employer.

"Public health nurses excel in what they do," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "These highly educated nurses work to monitor for infectious diseases in the community, promote healthy living, and maintain wellness of individuals, families and communities. Caring and dedicated nurses work in clinics, illness prevention programs, in your schools and in the home, including follow-up and home visits for families with newborns, immunizations and sexual health clinics. Despite this, they continue to be the among the lowest-paid public health nurses in the entire province. This is shameful, especially in a community where the community's rates of health challenges is so high."

The nurses have been working without a contract since December 31, 2013. ONA will go to conciliation talks on September 15.

"In an economically hard-hit area, many of our public health nurses are the sole breadwinners for their families," notes Haslam-Stroud. "The value they bring to this community is beyond question, ensuring that those who live in Chatham-Kent receive the education, counseling, services and health monitoring that gives them the best chance at living in a healthy community. It's time the employer recognized the value of public health nurses and treated them with the respect they deserve."

ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line registered nurses and allied health professionals as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.

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SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430;; Ruth Featherstone, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2267;


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