TORONTO, Jan. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - Almost 3000 CCAC Health Professionals in Ontario are on strike this morning, forced onto the picket lines by their employers in the name of fairness.
CCAC Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) Bargaining Units have been seeking very small wage increases equal to the percentages given to the other 57,000 members of ONA in the hospital, public health and long-term care sectors. The CCAC members had a two-year wage freeze in their last contract, which expired March 31, 2014. Nine of the 10 Bargaining Units have voted to strike. Workers at Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant have ratified a new agreement.
"Shame on these employers for putting Registered Nurses, Health Care Professionals and our patients at risk by forcing us to withdraw our care," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "We care for our patients in their homes, schools and communities and are your community health advocates."
ONA CCAC members – who are registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and allied health professionals – remain committed to reaching a deal that recognizes and respects their valuable contributions to the health care system.
"Government is relying more on community care as it pushes services out of hospitals, and the role that our CCAC members play in the system must be respected," Haslam-Stroud said. "We are happy to return to the bargaining table as soon as these employers are prepared to recognize that our members are not second-class citizens. This strike is about dignity and respect, and also sends an important message that these CCAC CEOs can't give themselves a large salary increase and then unfairly compensate the highly skilled, invaluable front-line workers who provide care."
As of today, CCAC health professionals in the following CCACs are on strike: North East, North West, Central East, Central, North Simcoe Muskoka, Waterloo Wellington, South East, South West and Erie St. Clair.
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; Katherine Russo, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2214, cell: 647-539-1925, email@example.com