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ONA President supports members of CarePartners Local 294

Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN President, Ontario Nurses Association, published a letter in the Simcoe Reformer in support of members of CarePartners Local 294 who have been on strike since early April.

Following is the letter:

Wed Aug 12 2015
Page: A4
Letters to the Editor

Nurses deserve respect

Re: Past time to show CarePartners nurses some respect

It is absolutely outrageous that the highly educated and extremely skilled nurses working for CarePartners to deliver home care have been forced to walk the picket lines for months, with no movement from their employer to show them the respect they deserve.

At the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), we are very aware of the value these dedicated workers bring to the province's home care system and the money their services save the system.

Apparently, the same cannot be said for their employer. CarePartners is a private, for-profit company that supplies nurses and other home-care workers to the province's Community Care Access Centres to deliver care to patients in the community. These nurses and health professionals are vital to patients, ensuring that they can remain at home rather than be admitted, at a far higher cost, to hospital.

Why CarePartners has refused these OPSEU members the dignity and respect they have earned is beyond comprehension, until one considers that –should these nurses have a first contract that includes a wage increase –the profit margin for CarePartners will be affected. This is even more reprehensible considering the lower wages in home care generally for all health-care workers.

As nurses, these workers go above and beyond to use their education and knowledge to ensure that their patients have the best shot at a positive health outcome. Shame on their owner/operators at CarePartners for putting these nurses in the position where a protracted strike has been their only option.

The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA), the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals working in hospitals, long-term care, home and community care, public health, clinics and industry want to express our support for the issues these striking workers are fighting for. We ask that the communities –including Norfolk region –that are being impacted by the strike speak up for those who care for them as well.

Profits over patients: Shame on CarePartners for their marginalization of a group of nurses who work so hard for the community.

Linda Haslam-Stroud
RN President
Ontario Nurses' Association

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