Members of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) participated in all-out picket actions across the province to push for better staffing, and wages, and equitable care for nurses on Feb. 23.
The picket actions varied across the province. Picket lines appeared for an hour or two outside hospitals across Toronto and at Conservative MPP constituency offices, including the premier’s.
Supporters of the cause rallied together to present a unified voice fighting to reach a fair deal for Ontario’s nurses.
In a statement released by the ONA, Interim Provincial President Bernie Robinson, said that addressing inadequate wages will help address staffing shortages.
“By increasing wages, it is more likely that we can retain nurses considering leaving their jobs, and that many nurses who have left the system these past few years may be recruited back into our hospitals. This would ease the nursing shortage and improve patient care,” she said.
The ONA has been in negotiations with the government for a new contract since June 2020, but talks have allegedly stalled over issues surrounding staffing levels, wage increases, and working conditions.
The ONA has been calling on the government to increase staffing levels to ensure that nurses can provide quality care to patients without being overworked and burnt out.
Are you going to be standing with them to #SupportNurses?
— Ontario Nurses' Association (@ontarionurses) February 23, 2023
It has also demanded fair wages that reflect the value of healthcare work and safer working conditions that protect them from workplace violence and harassment.
The ONA represents more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates across Ontario.
“We urge the public to show support for nurses and health-care professionals in our fight for a better deal,” Robinson said.