Ontario’s Nursing Crisis: Next steps in #RepealBill124 campaign to gain Premier Ford’s support
Join today, Tuesday December 14, at 2:30 pm, RNAO’s emergency press conference:
TORONTO, Dec. 13, 2021 – The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) says the province’s nursing crisis is spiraling out of control. Yet the Ontario government insists on keeping Bill 124, which nurses say is a slap in the face. RNAO will hold a media conference on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 2:30 p.m. ET to call on the premier to take immediate action, and discuss crucial next steps to address Bill 124 and Ontario’s nursing crisis.
Nurses have been pushed to their limits after 22 months of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been working flat out on the frontlines, caring for Ontarians, risking their own lives and the lives of their families while cancelling vacation and days off. They are exhausted and burnt out just as the Omicron variant threatens to make the situation even worse.
Yet, Premier Doug Ford’s Bill 124 caps salary increases at one per cent, far lower than the rate of inflation, meaning it is actually a decrease in compensation. Nurses resent Bill 124 and are leaving their jobs. Many have gone to work in agencies at double the pay rate, others are moving to other jurisdictions in Canada or the U.S., and some have left the profession altogether.
On Nov. 14, RNAO spoke at a rally organized by a grassroots group of nurses known as Nursewithsign416 (@Nursewithsign on Twitter). During the address, RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun implored Premier Ford to repeal Bill 124 within 30 days. Despite calls to his office and a pointed letter on Nov. 29, “we have heard nothing from him and no action has been taken. He has ignored RNAO and nurses’ demands to repeal this bill,” says Grinspun. “Premier Ford and his caucus are out of step with other elected representatives in Ontario who fully support nurses.” Last week, RNAO sent a letter to all MPPs, inviting them to #StandWithNurses and call for the #RepealBill124.
“Given the premier’s silence, we are left with no choice but to take our campaign to Ontarians to highlight for them how detrimental this bill is to their health,” says RNAO President Morgan Hoffarth. Tuesday, Dec. 14 marks the end of RNAO’s 30-day countdown to get Premier Ford to act.
What: Media conference to implore Premier Ford to #RepealBill124, and share its impact on the nursing crisis.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 14 at 2:30 p.m. ET
• Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO CEO*
• Dr. Claudette Holloway, RNAO president-elect
• Nancy Halupa, RN and co-founder of the advocacy group NurseWithSign416