Nurses to protest Bill 124 at busy intersection in St. Catharines

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Published February 22, 2023 at 3:40 pm

Members of the Ontario Nurses' Association march during an earlier protest of the Ford government's Bill 124. (Photo: ONA)

Nurses and health-care professionals will be out picketing Bill 124 at the corner of Fourth Ave and Martindale Rd in St. Catharines from noon to 2 pm tomorrow (Feb. 23).

Pointing out that the Ford government’s bill was recently ruled unconstitutional by the Ontario courts, the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) called for the pickets in 35 locations across Ontario, mostly at hospitals and Conservative MPP’s offices, calling “for better staffing and better wages to ensure they can provide better hospital care to their patients.”

Bill 124 controversially froze wage increases for nurses to one per cent a year when the Conservatives passed it in November 2019, just prior to the pandemic.

“These pickets, held outside hospitals and Conservative MPPs’ offices, will show our unified voice and commitment to achieving a fair deal for Ontario’s nurses,” said the ONA in a release.

The ONA, the largest provincial nurses’ union in Canada, has been in bargaining with the Ontario Hospital Association, seeking a better contract for its 60,000 hospital-sector members “following three years of wage suppression under Bill 124.”

The association added that this was the second in a series of escalating actions across Ontario planned by nurses and health-care professionals “who are fighting for crucial improvements to help ensure Ontarians get the public hospital care they need and deserve.”

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