Exempt NURSES from Bill 124! Allow nurses to be paid fairly!!
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Tell Doug Ford to exempt nurses from Bill 124 so we can negotiate fairly!!
CALLING NURSES HEROES, and BANGING POTS AND PANS IS NOT ENOUGH!!
The Ontario government introduced legislation called Bill 124 at the end of 2019, which limits the ability of unions to bargain fairly for their members.
Predominantly female professions (including teachers and nurses) are restricted to no more than a 1% pay increases for the next three years… (Ontario Provincial police got 2.15%)
“As the union representing registered nurses and health-care professionals in Ontario, ONA believes Bill 124 discriminates against nurses and all Ontarians,” says ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “This legislation is nothing but a continued attack on the right to free collective bargaining without interference, as was affirmed in 2015 in a Supreme Court of Canada ruling. More alarming is the fact that this legislation could likely deepen the already serious nursing shortage in Ontario, and have negative effects on health care and public safety.”
ONA says that Bill 124, imposes a three-year period of “moderation” in the form of salary and compensation caps for many nurses and other public-sector employees. The three-year timeframe in which ONA nurses in various Bargaining Units will be under wage “moderation” will span at least a six-year period, during which the province’s fiscal situation will vary – casting doubt on government’s claim of a current fiscal “crisis.”
ONA notes that nurses are a predominantly female profession and the legislation specifically exempts male-dominated professionals, such as police and firefighters. “This legislation is an attack on nurses and an attack on women,” says McKenna. “By forcing front-line nurses and health-care professionals to accept compensation increases that fall below the rate of inflation, this bill will only worsen what is already a serious nursing shortage in Ontario and worsen hallway health care.”
“Our hospital-sector RNs and health-care professionals have been hailed as heroes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” notes ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “They have put their health and the health of their own families at risk to provide care for their patients, even without necessarily having access to proper protective equipment. Yet, due to the provincial government’s wage suppression legislation (Bill 124 – Protecting a Sustainable Public Sector for Future Generations Act), Ontario’s highly skilled RNs will again fall further behind with a wage increase that does not come close to the rate of inflation or the increases received by their male comparators.”
ONA members will learn more details of arbitrator John Stout’s decision later this week.
RNs and health-care professionals have suffered under austerity measures implemented by successive governments for more than a decade, with increases of less than the rate of inflation for many consecutive years. They have worked long, very difficult hours throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and hundreds have been infected with the coronavirus due to a lack of PPE.
“RNs continue to be the backbone of our health-care system,” says McKenna. “We want to be at the bedside, to provide care for those who need us, and employers demand that dedication. Yet at the bargaining table, employers and government continue to undervalue and disrespect our female-dominated professionals. RNs have been constrained from reaching a fair agreement. This is unacceptable.”
PLEASE ALSO SEND A LETTER DIRECTLY TO DOUG FORD, YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVES AND BE COUNTED BY ONA HERE!! http://www.ona.org/bill124/
***COVID-19 pay has NOT been given to most nurses either, despite promises!****
Here is the statement from the Ontario Nurses Association: https://www.ona.org/news-posts/20200609-statement-hospital-award/
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