STRATFORD, ON: Public Health Nurses, Registered Nurses (RNs) and Nurse Practitioners working for the Perth District Health Unit are going to conciliation talks on Wednesday, October 11 as they seek a new contract with the Board of Health of the Perth District Health Unit.
The 42 Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) members have been without a contract since December 31, 2016.
"Our dedicated and skilled Public Health Nurses and Registered Nurses provide a full range of services to promote healthy infant and child development and protect our communities from communicable and infectious disease outbreaks such as influenza," says Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, ONA President. "In addition, these highly educated and skilled nurses run immunization clinics and sexual health clinics and provide health education for our young people."
They provide services across an area of 2,200 square kilometres and for a population of about 77,000 people. "Our nurses are dealing with issues of homelessness and addictions and overdoses in both urban and rural areas" she says. "Their services are invaluable to Perth County and they are seeking a fair and respectful contract that reflects the value of the work they do."
ONA has had four days of negotiations with the employer and the two sides will enter into conciliation on Wednesday, October 11.
"As nurses, we expect the employer to come to conciliation prepared to offer a fair contract to our skilled and knowledgeable Public Health Nurses, Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners, so they can continue to deliver excellent services to their community," says Haslam-Stroud. "ONA always prefers to reach a negotiated settlement, but should conciliation fail, this employer may force our nurses to strike."
ONA is the union representing 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as almost 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
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