RNAO statement on paid sick days - Do what must be done, premier!

Media release, April 20, 2021

With the musings in the media a few days ago that the Ford government was discussing paid sick days, we at the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) issued a statement urging the provincial government to move immediately with paid sick days and disclose the details. "This is a critical public health measure that RNAO and many others have been advocating for since the beginning of this pandemic. At this time of dire crisis any delay is causing undue hardship and costing more lives," says RNAO's CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun.

RNAO will continue to urge Premier Ford's government to:

  1. Close down all non-essential workplaces. Non-essential workers need to be financially supported through this crisis and essential workers need paid sick leave.
  2. Lock the province down and prohibit movement from one region to another.
  3. Deploy nurses, physicians, pharmacists, dentists, paramedics, and every other health-care worker willing and able to vaccinate. Mobile units – including home care nurses – should be urgently deployed to essential workplaces and hot spot communities. And everyone 16 and up should be deemed eligible for vaccination.

"The response to the tidal wave of COVID-19 transmission needs to be simple and done with speed. There is no time left for logistical logjams and delays. Every delay puts more lives at risk and threatens the collapse of our intensive care units (ICU)," adds Grinspun. It has been many days since the Ford government, including the premier, have been announcing a paid sick day program. Yet, nothing has happened and precious lives continue to be lost – 189 Ontarians succumbed to COVID19 during the last week with NO action from the government. Promises do not save lives – actions do. Please RT urgently this tweet. We also urge you all – nurses, other health-care workers and members of the public – to sign our Action Alert. Tell the premier to do what must be done! Please sign right away here.