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Health Unit Nurses Could Strike If Conciliation Fails

Tuesday February 19th, 2019, 9:56am


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Nurses at the Windsor-Essex County Public Health Unit are heading to a second day of conciliation at the end of the month following the breakdown of negotiations.

More than 80 workers are represented by the Ontario Nurses Association and include Nurse Practitioners, Public Health Nurses, and Registered Practical Nurses.

“Our highly educated members work to improve and maintain the health of their communities by providing services such as chronic disease and injury prevention, infectious disease monitoring and prevention, maternal health and healthy families programs, needs assessments for their communities, healthy schools programs, substance use, and mental health programs,” notes ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN.

The nurses are responsible for school vaccination programs and monitor for, investigate and control infectious disease outbreaks.

“With surrounding communities experiencing outbreaks of rubella, measles and sexually transmitted infections, their work is vital to the health of the residents of Windsor-Essex County,” she said.

The nurses have been working without a contract since March 31st, 2018. Conciliation talks took place February 1st, and a second date has been scheduled for February 28th.

“Our dedicated nurses do not want to be forced out on strike and leave their community at risk in case of an outbreak of infectious disease,” said McKenna. “Our members are dedicated to keeping the community healthy, working in partnership with other agencies and health-care providers. We hope that an additional conciliation date will be successful, and the employer will come to the table supporting our outstanding nurses who provide such excellent services to the people of Windsor-Essex.”

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