CLINTON, ON, Feb. 13, 2013 /CNW/ - Twenty-six Public Health Nurses with the Huron Health Unit may be forced to strike following the failure of contract negotiations.
The Public Health Nurses - members of the Ontario Nurses' Association - have been without an agreement since December 31, 2011. They are in a legal strike/lock-out position on March 2.
"Our dedicated Public Health Nurses work to ensure their community is protected against outbreaks, that babies have the best chance at a healthy life, that people receive the education and support they require," notes ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Yet this employer is attempting to force our dedicated health professionals to agree to serious concessions including the gutting of their sick-leave plan, a particularly nasty demand as nurses are the most injured and ill of all health care professionals simply due to the nature of their work."
Haslam-Stroud notes that the employer is also demanding other concessions; the nurses will hold a strike vote within two weeks; mediation is planned for March 1.
"A strike is the last thing that any RN wants to consider," says Haslam-Stroud. "Our members went into this profession to care for others, and this situation weighs very heavily on them. This employer simply has to step up to the plate and ensure the Huron community continues to benefit from the expertise, skills and devotion to public health that our members show each and every day."
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
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Ontario Nurses' Association