Thunder Bay, Ont., public-health nurses strike as mediation fails

Been working without contract for two years: ONA
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 10/16/2018
Labour strike
The nurses are the lowest-paid in the province and have been working without a contract for close to two years, said the union. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Public Health Nurses working for Thunder Bay District Health Unit hit the picket lines on Oct. 16.

“Unfortunately, a long day of mediation failed to result in a respectful, fair contract offer and our dedicated public-health nurses have been forced to take strike action,” said Vicki McKenna, Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) president.

The 58 ONA members had three days of negotiations, two days of conciliation and one day of mediation with this employer. They voted to reject the employer’s final offer on Oct. 15. The nurses are the lowest-paid in the province and have been working without a contract for close to two years, said the union.

The strike will impact the communities the Public Health Nurses service, including First Nations populations and school children, as immunization programs will be affected. The nurses are also working on the current outbreak of tuberculosis in the community, said ONA.

ONA represents 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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