Statement: NPAO calls on the Government of Ontario to exclude nurses from Bill 124.
Bill 124 came into existence in November 2019. The COVID pandemic started in March 2020. Since then nurses have put their own health and the health of their loved ones at risk by gallantly caring for the health care needs of the public in every corner of the Province. The immense value nurses represent to the health care system is indisputable.
Yet, they are limited by Bill 124 to salary increases that fail to recognize that value and are considerably below inflation and the rising cost of living. At a time when the Government should be rewarding nurses, they are punishing them. At a time when nurses are still being asked to carry an immense burden through the ongoing pandemic, they cannot be adequately rewarded. At a time when nurses are tired and questioning whether nursing is in their future, the Government needs to expend efforts to retain nurses before the system crashes. Bill 124 is conflicts with all of these needs.
The Government of Ontario can rightfully show the respect and appreciation for the contributions of nurses by removing them from inclusion in Bill 124 and provide the wage increases they deserve.