Algoma public health nurses still seeking fair contractWednesday, October 10, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
Algoma public health nurses still seeking fair contract
SAULT STE. MARIE - Algoma Public Health registered nurses and nurse practitioners are considering next steps as they head to conciliation in the quest for a new contract.
The nurses - members of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) - provide public health services to residents in the District of Algoma, including Sault Ste. Marie, Wawa, Blind River, Elliot Lake and many of the surrounding small towns and townships.
They have been without a contract since March 31 this year.
"The health of the communities served by our members relies in great part on the invaluable services provided by Algoma Public Health nurses," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Public health nurses work to ensure healthy communities and are there for Ontarians at every stage of life. It's vital that these health care professionals receive a fair contract that recognizes the skills, education and dedication they possess."
The nurses provide public education and health services such as immunizations, flu vaccinations, and an array of support services to families including the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program, parenting programs, a hotline for new parents with questions and concerns, reproductive health education, school health and sexual health services.
In addition, public health nurses provide important surveillance and tracking for communicable diseases, genetic counseling and smoking cessation programs.
"ONA is hopeful that with the assistance of the Ministry of Labour, we will be successful in helping these invaluable nurses to reach an agreement with their employer," says Haslam-Stroud. "When negotiations fail, no nurse wants to be locked out by their employer, or being forced to withdraw services from those who need them."
ONA is the union representing 59,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals as well as more than 13,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.