Help us reach 8,000 signatories! Action Alert: Repeal Bill 124, premier!
Bill 124, passed by the Ford government in 2019, caps compensation increases for a broad range of public sector workers, including nurses, at just one per cent. In August 2021 – the latest data available – the average inflation rate in Ontario was 4.0 per cent for the past 12 months. That means nurses were treated to a decrease in their real income of 3.0% during the last pandemic year.
During the worst health crisis Ontarians have ever faced, the Ontario government decided it is the moment to push down substantially the compensation for nurses and other primarily female essential workers (i.e., police and firefighters excluded). This is not only reckless policy – it is also insulting. It also ridicules the government and employers’ thankfulness “to our heroes.” We don’t have heroes – those are for the history books. What we have are committed and knowledgeable professionals who must be recognized in concrete terms – no more patience for rhetoric and platitudes! Nurses need the tools (adequate PPE according to scientific evidence), human resources (to enable safe and quality nursing care) and compensation that is commensurate with our RN, NP and RPN responsibilities.
Let’s be clear. The latest musings by Premier Ford about “potential staff and nursing shortages because of mandatory vaccines” are disingenuous. The premier knows that the shortages are related to Bill 124 and poor working conditions. Let’s help him face reality by signing the action alert. We already surpassed 7,000 signatories!
Bill 124 caps compensation increases for a broad range of public sector workers, including nurses, at just one per cent. In real terms, that means nurses’ incomes are not keeping up with the cost of living.
Join us! Call on the premier to immediately repeal Bill 124.
Throughout the past 19 months of this pandemic, health-care workers across Ontario – especially nurses – have selflessly cared for citizens of Ontario while confronting fears for their own health and safety and that of their loved ones. Nurses are exhausted. They are burnt out. They are leaving the profession. And, Bill 124 is in large part to blame.
The departure of nurses from our profession will lead to even longer wait times for already backlogged procedures and surgeries, compromising people ’s health and threatening the effective functioning of Ontario’s health system. The growing prevalence of hiring and retention bonuses is a band-aid solution, causing instability in the workforce and disrupting continuity of patient care.
Public officials have uttered words of appreciation. We are “heroes” we are told. But meaningful and tangible signs of appreciation have been sparse. So, join us! Call on the premier to immediately repeal Bill 124.