BRANTFORD, ON, March 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Grand River Community Health Centre nurses will hold a strike vote tomorrow and/or may be locked out by their employer on March 11.
The four nurse practitioners (NPs) and one registered nurse (RN) – members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) – have been working to reach a first collective agreement with their employer since mid-October, 2013. In early November, the ONA members were told the Grand River Community Health Centre would be applying to go to conciliation.
The nurse practitioners provide community-based primary care and offer wellness, health promotion and community development initiatives in Brantford and the County of Brant. The registered nurse manages the immunization program, provides immunization to highly vulnerable infants and provides promotion and smoking cessation services.
"The extraordinary health care services provided by our NPs and RN at Grand River CHC enable more than 2,600 people to receive primary care," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "The value of these dedicated nurses is clear to their patients and the community, and it needs to be recognized by the employer as well."
The nurses believe they have been forced to hold the strike vote by the seeming reluctance of their employer to bargain and reach a reasonable agreement that respects the skills and experience of these valuable health care workers bring to caring for their patients.
"Nurse Practitioners at this CHC are diagnosing, prescribing medications and treating some of the most vulnerable residents of Brantford and Brant County," says Haslam-Stroud. "Yet they are paid less than their peers working in hospitals and other community sectors. This is insulting and unacceptable."
The nurses are currently warning their patients that they may be forced out on strike or locked out by the Grand River CHC in the coming weeks and patients may experience disruption of their care. ONA urges residents to support these valuable health care providers in their desire to reach a collective agreement and continue to provide invaluable services to the people of this 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 facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416) 964-1979 ext.2430, cell: (416) 986-8240, [email protected]; Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-1979 ext. 2369, [email protected]; Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses