Breaking News – Nurses Head to Conciliation as They Seek a New Contract with Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit

In Local

Fifty public health nurses and registered practical nurses are calling for their employer to step up with a respectful new collective agreement as the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) and Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit head to conciliation tomorrow.

“Ontario’s public health nurses demand respect, improved working conditions and more from their employers in this day and age,” says ONA Provincial President Erin Ariss, RN. “Events in the past five years have shown us just how imperative it is that our province has a full complement of public health nurses working to keep their communities safe from a large array of infectious disease, outbreaks and other harms that impact the well-being of residents. These 50 nurses are responsible for approximately 200,000 residents in Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland. They deserve a respectful new contact for the vital work they do.”

Among the programs these nurses run are: vaccination, including COVID-19, measles, childhood vaccinations and more; sexual health programs including cancer screening; harm reduction programs, infectious disease monitoring and control, including in our hospitals and long-term care homes; communicable disease monitoring and prevention; supporting high-risk families through the Healthy Families/Children/Babies program; and a school health program.

The nurses have been working without a contract since January 1 of 2024. There has been just one day of negotiations.

“We urge this health unit to get serious about reaching a new deal,” says Ariss. “Our public health nurses are highly educated, and specialty trained to keep their communities safe and promote health. These nurses have sacrificed enormously to serve their communities, and it is well past time to acknowledge and respect them. They deserve that, at minimum.”

ONA is the union representing 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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