Ontario Nurses' Association releases details of tentative settlement for 50,000 hospital registered nurses

    TORONTO, Feb. 22 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association's (ONA) Hospital
Central Negotiating Team is unanimously recommending acceptance of a tentative
settlement negotiated for Ontario's 50,000 hospital registered nurses and
allied health professionals.
    The tentative settlement includes salary increases for hospital nurses of
9.55 per cent over its three-year term. In addition, nurses will receive a
lump sum payment which varies with length of service and is equivalent to an
additional 3.70 per cent for the majority of ONA members. The tentative
settlement also includes:

    -  Vacation, benefit and premium pay improvements;
    -  Contract language relating to the adoption of the precautionary
       principle to improve workplace safety (as recommended by the late
       Justice Archie Campbell's final report on SARS);
    -  Commitments to address violence in the workplace, including disruptive
       physician behavior;
    -  Dental benefits for early retirees (aged 60 to 65).

    ONA leaders are learning of details in the tentative settlement today. If
ratified, the new collective agreement covers a three-year period, from
April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2011.
    "This contract, including the lump sum payments, offers RNs some
recognition for the hard work they do each and every day in providing quality
care to our patients," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.
    If ratified by members, a full-time registered nurse working in an ONA
hospital facility will earn between $29.36 (new RNs) and $42.44 (RNs with 25
years' experience) an hour by April 1, 2010. Local ratification meetings will
be held for hospital-sector nurses between February 25 and March 11. Results
will be announced by March 20.

    ONA is the union representing 53,000 front-line registered nurses and
allied health professionals working in Ontario hospitals, long-term care
facilities, public health, the community and industry.

For further information:

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2430, Cellular: (416) 986-8240; Melanie Levenson, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2369

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