Ontario Nurses' Association Prepares Community Care Access Centre Employees for a Possible Strike

TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - Approximately 3,000 members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) - Case Managers, Placement Coordinators, Nurse Practitioners and other health professionals from 10 of Ontario's 14 Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) are in the process of taking strike votes in advance of their last week of bargaining.

A strike would leave communities across the province with limited access to health care services that these health professionals - including registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses, occupational and physiotherapists and social workers - arrange and coordinate.

Should these services be withdrawn by a strike, there will be an increase in backlogs in hospital emergency rooms, and surgical and medical departments as health care employees are either not available to arrange and coordinate home care services or as clients return to emergency rooms when their case manager cannot assess their care needs. Wait lists for long-term care beds will increase as placement coordinators will not be able to proceed on placement and admissions into vacant nursing home beds.

"ONA members at our CCACs want to continue to serve their patients and clients, but the draconian concessions being demanded by employers are simply unacceptable," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.

"Our members work to ensure that the community receives home care services," she says. "They connect our vulnerable with services they need to stay healthy at home, preventing hospitalization. And they help those who can no longer remain at home find places in long-term care. Unfortunately, their employers are treating these valuable health professionals who provide such vital services very disrespectfully, despite the shortage of health care professionals and the stated goals of the government to increase home care services."

Haslam-Stroud notes that while agreement has been reached on a number of provisions, the membership issues of workload and professional responsibility, sick leave, wages and access to personal protective equipment should there be a pandemic are keeping the two sides from reaching an agreement.

"Our members are dedicated to serving their clients in the community who need their help to receive home care or a nursing home bed," says Haslam-Stroud. "They are highly skilled, educated and knowledgeable and the last thing they want is to be forced into a strike that will withdraw and/or delay services to their clients. But the often-shortsighted demands of the employers are preventing labour peace."

CCAC members are holding strike votes prior to the last two days of bargaining on September 26 and 27. Mediation is scheduled for September 28 and 29. The legal strike date is October 3.

ONA is the union representing 57,000 front-line RNs and allied health professionals and more than 12,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.

SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association

For further information:

Ontario Nurses' Association  
Sheree Bond     (416) 964-1979, ext. 2430; cell: (416) 986-8240
Melanie Levenson    (416) 964-1979, ext. 2369



Custom Packages

Browse our custom packages or build your own to meet your unique communications needs.

Start today.

CNW Membership

Fill out a CNW membership form or contact us at 1 (877) 269-7890

Learn about CNW services

Request more information about CNW products and services or call us at 1 (877) 269-7890