Ontario nurses: The Doug Ford government ‘is targetting us at a time when we’re supposed to be recognized as heroes’


MPP Jeff Yurek’s office has been the target of a couple of healthcare-related protests over the past few weeks, with the latest being yesterday (Friday).
About 30 nurses gathered over the noon hour to protest against Bill 124 and the lack of pay equity in the bill supported by Yurek. It caps public sector wage increases to no greater than one per cent for three years.
Nurses ask health care is included in the public sector but why are physicians exempt.
The nurses stress this is not about pandemic pay and we caught up with Rebecca Jesney, an RN in the emergency department at London’s Victoria Hospital, to learn more.
“Nurses are realizing the Doug Ford government as well as Jeff Yurek, are affecting nurses specifically and targetting us at a time when we’re supposed to be recognized as heroes.
“Nurses have had enough.”

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Who is accountable for accountability?

It was a rubber-stamp item on Monday’s city council agenda; authorizing the deposit of $59,047.62 into a reserve account of Valleyview Home.
The money is the final distribution of funds from the estate of Ralph Counsell, a former Valleyview resident who donated $400,000 to Valleyview with the stipulation the money be used in the activation department for the benefit of residents.
The activation department is responsible for the recreation, therapeutic and social activities of the residents.
In a report to council in November of last year, Valleyview staff recommended items like a Karaoke machine, bingo machine and cards, televisions, decorations and a movie projector, among other things, be purchased.
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Ontario nurses support CLC plan to expand CPP

December 17, 2010
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty urged not to sell out the majority of Canadians to the banks and insurance companies

TORONTO—Members of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) are contacting federal Finance Minister The Hon. Jim Flaherty today, reminding him that the majority of Canadians support the labour movement’s plan to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

“Minister Flaherty should be ashamed of himself for turning his back on the majority of Ontarians in favour of the few bank and insurance company executives who stand to profit from his pooled-savings gimmick,” said Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association.

“A private, defined contribution gimmick isn’t a plan,” said Haslam-Stroud. “It guarantees workers nothing except what they’d pay in.”

“The daughters and sons of Ontario’s nurses, who are struggling with the worst labour market conditions in this recession, deserve better,” said Haslam-Stroud. “Everyone deserves retirement security and a phased-in increase of CPP contributions would cover all employees with our safe, portable and efficient national pension plan.”

The Canadian Labour Congress’ (CLC) plan to gradually increase CPP contributions by 0.43 per cent of pensionable earnings for workers and employers over seven years would effectively double the average earnings replaced by CPP pension benefits, to a maximum of $1,868 (in 2010 dollars) per month.

Expanding the CPP is the best option and it’s supported by pensioners, students, Canada’s mayors and Ontario Finance Minister The Hon. Dwight Duncan.

“Ontario nurses’ message to provincial and territorial finance ministers is: Don’t be bullied by the Conservative minority,” said Haslam-Stroud. “The majority of Canadians know that expanding the CPP is the right plan, so stand up for us and let Mr. Flaherty isolate himself as he shills for his unimaginably rich friends who can’t resist finding another way to gouge us with service fees.”

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For more information: Ontario Nurses’ Association
Ken Marciniec
Ruth Featherstone (416) 964-8833, ext. 2306 cell: (416) 803-6066
(416) 964-8833, ext. 2267

When the going gets tough, head out on a road trip

Last week in this very space we outlined a sweetheart lease deal offered to Elgin St. Thomas Public Health by their landlord at 99 Edward St.

That would be the County of Elgin, which is willing to cut the lease rate in half.

So how did CEO Cynthia St. John respond to this generous incentive?

On Tuesday, 11 managers trundled on up to Owen Sound to check out the spanking new building that houses Grey-Bruce Health Unit. The building has been described as, “extravagant” and OPSEU notes, “At least $20 million has been budgeted for this building, dubbed the ‘copper elephant’ by local media.”

As we understand it, that organization took on the financing of the building and we can only speculate St. John relishes the opportunity to pursue a similar financial route.
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