Health unit 'disappointed' as nurses reject final offer
Nurses on strike picket outside of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit in Windsor, Ont., on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (Michelle Maluske / CTV Windsor)
Nurses from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit have rejected their employer’s most recent ‘final’ offer Wednesday and have resumed picketing.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Theresa Marentette, the CEO and Chief Nursing Officer of the health unit said, “After another bargaining session last week, we made a final offer to ONA Local 8. We were very disappointed to learn that public health nurses once again rejected the offer, which contained a further increase over our previous offer."
The 86 nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and public health nurses rejected an offer tabled on Wednesday. The nurses also rejected a tentative agreement on April 3.
They went on strike on March 8 to back demands for more money.
"The offer on the table was fair to our public health nurses, while at the same time responsible, in light of the very real cost pressures we are facing due to the growing demand for services in our region," said Marentette.
The Ontario Nurses Association, which represents the striking workers, also issued a statement.
“Our employer did not offer any meaningful improvements,” said Barb Deter, bargaining unit president for the striking nurses. “To be clear, their disrespectful offer wouldn’t even cover the increase in the cost of living nurses will experience this year. We took their latest final offer to the membership and it was roundly rejected. This is a significant vote of confidence in our bargaining team.”
The health unit says its priority is the health and well-being of Windsor and Essex County residents, and will continue to try to meet their needs despite the labour disruption.