Health unit programs cancelled amid looming nurse strike
More than a dozen people picket outside of the health unit board meeting on February 28, 2019. ( Chris Campbell / CTV Windsor )
Published Monday, March 4, 2019 10:55PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, March 5, 2019 10:26AM EST
It appears a looming strike by more than 80 public health nurses at the Windsor Essex County Health Unit is having an impact on programs.
The health unit says a suspension date of March 29 for incomplete immunization records has been cancelled.
Officials say about 1200 students born in 2001 and 2002 received suspension notices for incomplete immunization records in early February, but no students will be suspended due to the possible strike.
The 86 nurse practioners, registered practical nurses and public health nurses have been working without a contract since March 31, 2018.
They will vote on the health unit’s final offer on Thursday.
The nurses could be locked out or on strike as of midnight Friday.
The health unit is still encouraging students and their parents to ensure their immunization records are up-to-date.
“It’s important for the Health Unit to have up-to-date immunization records for all students in order to protect our community from vaccine preventable diseases,” said Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health.
The Health Unit will still provide two drop-in clinics for students to receive outstanding vaccines.
One is being held Monday until 7:30 p.m. at the Leamington health unit office.
The second clinic is Tuesday March 5 from 2:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Windsor health unit office.
The health unit has launched on online tool “Immunization Connect Ontario” (ICON) that provides students with the ability to access their immunization information and update their record online.
Students with a medical reason, or conscientious or religious beliefs that prohibit vaccination, have the option to complete and return a signed, original exemption form to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
An in-person, educational session provided by the Health Unit must be completed for all non-medical exemptions, and more information is online at http://www.wechu.org/
You can also fax your immunization record to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit at 519-258-7288
You can also call the Healthy Schools Department at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit at 519-258-2146 or 1-800-265-5822 and select extension 1222