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Ontario Nurses negotiate one-time retention bonus with Province

Ontario Nurses negotiate one-time retention bonus with Province

Ontario Nurses will receive a $5,000 retention bonus, as the province attempts to stem the front line healthcare staffing shortage. The head on the Ontario Nurses Association Cathryn Hoy said “While the Premier has not agreed to repeal Bill 124 – yet – we have negotiated concrete commitments to implement several measures to fix Ontario’s serious nursing shortage” Bill 124 capped wage increases for all government employees at one percent.  Hoy said the government had agreed to resurrect the Late-Career Nursing Initiative, the New Graduate program, and will work with the Ontario Hospital Association to ensure exhausted nurses can take vacation. Hoy added, “While the Premier has not agreed to repeal Bill 124 at this time, it is not off the table for further discussion and ONA will press the Premier on this issue.”

The agreement followed the second meeting in a week between Hoy and Premier Doug Ford.The premier has promised to take the plan to give each nurse a lump-sum, $5,000 payment to the Treasury Board as early as next week for approval and further details on implementation.”

There is further consultation planned, including initial conversations about fast-tracking RPN-to-RN bridging programs and ensuring a speedier process for IENs to enter the workforce.  ONA also raised the need for more full-time nursing positions – with a target of 70% full-time – and the Premier did not disagree.

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

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