March 30, 2022 at 8:45 PM
Earlier this month, the Government of Ontario announced a $763-million investment to retain nurses across the province, and help stabilize the sector after the damaging effects that the pandemic had on the health care system.
Full-time, part-time and casual nurses will receive a payment of $5,000. This includes all Registered Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, and Nurse Practitioners working in hospitals, long term care, homecare, telehealth, community health and private retirement homes.
"All health care professionals, including our Ornge paramedics, deserve the same financial investment to continue keeping the people of Ontario safe," said Tammy Moore, Unifor Local 2002 President. "Doug Ford’s government should not cherry pick which workers to invest in. All workers deserve the same government commitment and financial compensation."
In April 2021, Unifor called on Doug Ford’s government to exempt Ornge paramedics from Bill 124, and allow collective bargaining to proceed fairly.
The widely criticized Bill 124 – which was enacted in 2019 – put a one per cent wage restraint on public service workers in Ontario (including unionized and non-unionized workers). Unifor and many other unions engaged in challenging the legislation, in an attempt to remove these limitations. However, by August 2021, a response was received from Ontario’s Treasury Board, denying Unifor’s application to have Ornge paramedics exempt from Bill 124. Make no mistake, Premier Doug Ford has always had the power to exempt Ornge from Bill 124, but to date has refused to do so.
In a joint letter to Premier Ford dated March 7, 2022, SEUI Health Care, Ontario Nurses Association (ONA), Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE), and Unifor remarked:
"While you’re promising up to five-thousand dollars for nurses, what they really want is the support to do their jobs well and to do them safely. They want to be able to bargain wage increases that reflect their worth and the significant inflation they are facing. Absent a real plan to confront Ontario’s chronic staffing shortage, nurses, personal support workers and other dedicated health professionals see these short-term promises for what they are: pay-as-you-vote gimmicks."
The province continues to treat health care as an inconsequential issue, ultimately putting the people of Ontario at risk. Real change must occur to break this cycle.
Your Unifor-Ornge Bargaining Committee
Mark Etherington, Chairperson
Keith Simons, Northern Bases
Geoffrey Brown, Southern Bases
For further information, please contact a member of the Unifor-Ornge Bargaining Committee
/22-03-30 Ornge update from the bargaining committee EN.txt