Thunder Bay, Ont., public-health nurses head to mediation

Hope to avoid being forced to strike: ONA
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 10/16/2018
Labour relations
Should nurses be forced to strike or be locked out by their employer, their community will be impacted, including First Nations populations and school children, as immunization programs will be affected, said McKenna. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Public-health nurses working for Thunder Bay District Health Unit in Thunder Bay, Ont., will enter mediation talks on Oct. 15, said the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA).

“As nurses, we never want to be forced to withdraw our essential services, including disease outbreak control, ensuring new families can care for their infants, providing health services to local schools: the community’s health and well-being is our first priority, yet Thunder Bay public health nurses remain the worst-paid in the province and have been without a contract for almost two years,” said Vicki McKenna, ONA president.

The 58 ONA members have had three days of negotiations and two days of conciliation with the public-health uni, said the union.

Should nurses be forced to strike or be locked out by their employer, their community will be impacted, including First Nations populations and school children, as immunization programs will be affected, said McKenna.

The nurses are also working on the current outbreak of tuberculosis in the community. The employer has started to limit public access to services prior to the strike deadline, said the union.

ONA is the union representing more than 65,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

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