TORONTO, July 7, 2014 /CNW/ - Negotiations have broken down for Ontario's 3,000 registered nurses, registered practical nurses, personal support workers and allied health professionals working in 174 for-profit nursing homes.
During two weeks of negotiations and mediation, members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), were met with a number of demands for concessions by the employer that would have negatively impacted the quality of resident care. These included the removal of staffing language that protects nurse-patient ratios and nursing hours of care for residents. ONA also rejected proposals that would have stripped basic benefits to our members.
It is already difficult to recruit and retain nurses in the province's nursing homes because they have lower wages, benefits and pensions than their comparators in not-for-profit homes for the aged and hospitals in Ontario.
ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, says that ONA and its members are "frustrated and disappointed that we were not able to achieve a settlement. ONA entered these talks extremely committed to reaching a negotiated settlement," she said.
"Unfortunately, the employer was focused on maximizing profits for shareholders at the expense of our frail and elderly residents. We remain hopeful that the employer will offer a contract that reflects nurses' value and the care needs of nursing home residents. Otherwise, the nurses will be forced to go to arbitration this fall."
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