HALDIMAND-NORFOLK, ON, Nov. 23, 2015 /CNW/ - Registered nurses (RNs) and social workers – members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) – have ratified a new collective agreement with Haldimand-Norfolk Community Addiction and Mental Health Services (HN CAMHS).
The 23 RNs and social workers provide in-home, community-based, client-focused services to almost 850 patients suffering from mental health issues, throughout Haldimand Norfolk.
"Our dedicated registered nurses and social workers work to ensure they are there for their patients 24 hours a day, providing crisis support, including face-to-face assessments and short-term follow-up crisis counseling for those who need it," notes ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "For nine months, they have been without a contract and done their utmost to avoid having to withdraw their care from these vulnerable patients. We have reached an agreement with this employer after very difficult negotiations, however in the future, we expect to see some concrete efforts to improve working conditions for our very undervalued members."
Haslam-Stroud says the RNs and social workers, also known as clinicians, offer very specialized mental health services, including geriatric services for our elderly patients, with treatment, care and support for older adults and their families who face mental health issues combined with age-related difficulties. This includes crisis support for all who suffer from mental health issues – a much needed service in our community.
The ONA members went to conciliation bargaining on October 7 and to mediation on November 20 in an effort to negotiate a new contract. A tentative settlement was reached on November 20 and the nurses voted to ratify the agreement on November 22. Their last contract expired on March 31, 2015.
ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line registered nurses and allied health professionals as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association