SIMCOE, ON, April 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Yesterday our 32 public health nurses, members of the Ontario Nursing Association (ONA), who are on-strike received couriered letters from the County. It is our hope that these letters will clearly reinforce to our nurses the important role that they play and the fact that we want them back at work.
It had been the County's hope that we would achieve a negotiated collective agreement that was fair to both our nurses and the residents and taxpayers that they serve.
In order to do this, unlike other municipalities, our contract offer to ONA's bargaining team contained no concessions for current employees. The Employer's final offer did not propose any changes to job security. The County's position has not changed. In fact, the County's contract offer contained several benefit enhancements and wage increases for all employees.
Despite rumours to contrary, the County has remained at the bargaining table, bargained in good faith in an effort to avoid a strike and never walked away from a potential deal. Unfortunately, the Union chose to bargain in bad faith by refusing to honour its previously proposed deal and we were unable to avoid a strike. We remain available to meet with the union and work towards a negotiated agreement that will get our nurses back to work providing the excellent services that our residents have come to expect.
In the meantime, County staff have been working hard to try and minimize the impact on those residents who require public health services and social services including Ontario Works and we will continue to do so, despite the Union's unlawful attempts to block access to the County's properties.
For further information:
Keith Robicheau, County Manager
519-426-5870 ext. 1225