THUNDER BAY, ON, March 24, 2014 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) and Thunder Bay District Public Health Unit Nurses will resume negotiations with the employer tomorrow.
The 58 Public Health Nurses – the lowest-paid in all of Ontario and without a contract for more than one year – are pleased to be back at the table for the first time since bargaining talks broke down on February 3, 2014. A conciliation officer has been appointed by the Ministry of Labour to assist the two sides to reach an agreement.
The ONA members will be joined by union First Vice-President Vicki McKenna, RN to assist with conciliation talks. The ONA members are hopeful and trying to remain positive that an agreement can be reached.
Public Health Nurses provide immunizations, flu vaccinations, genetic screening and health supports to new birth moms and families at risk in the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program. Public Health Nurses also provide sexual health clinics, participate in community wellness initiatives and surveillance of communicable diseases in the community.
"Public Health Nurses are vital to keeping those in Thunder Bay healthy," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "The residents of Marathon, Manitowadge, Greenstone, Conmee, Dorion, Red Rock, Schreiber, Terrace Bay, Thunder Bay and other communities depend on the knowledge and skills of our nurses to provide them with the education and services they need to have the best, healthiest life possible. Public Health nurses deserve to have a contract that demonstrates respect for the health care services they provide the community."
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