TORONTO, February 5, 2015 – On January 30, 2015, employees represented by the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) working in nine Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) went on strike. Ontario's CCACs believe that their patients, caregivers, health care partners, the general public and employees deserve a fact-based context for judging the relative merit of this labour disruption.
MYTH: ONA employees' wages have been frozen for two years.
FACT: ONA's assertion about their "two year wage freeze" does not tell the full story. The monetary elements of the three-year ONA agreement that expired March 31, 2014 included 1.2% lump sum payments in the first and second year. In the third year ONA-represented employees received a 2.75% wage increase. Employees working in the North East and North West CCACs received an additional 1.25% wage increase, recognized as a Northern premium.
MYTH: The employer won't return to the bargaining table
FACT: CCACs have been and continue to be ready and willing to return to the bargaining table at any time to negotiate a settlement. CCACs are committed to negotiating agreements that are fair, responsible and reflect their commitment to providing high-quality service with the prudent use of public funds. Prior to the strike, 10 CCACs had been engaged in collective bargaining with ONA since spring 2014. Since rejecting the CCAC's offer and deciding to go on strike, ONA has not asked the CCACs to come back to the bargaining table.
MYTH: Accountants are doing the work of regulated health professionals.
FACT: Regulated health professionals continue to oversee patient care while all possible resources have been mobilized to ensure the ongoing provision of priority services to patients. As always, all CCACs are working closely with their health care partners – physicians, hospitals, our contracted nursing and other provider agencies – to best support the continuity of care for patients with minimal disruption. If you are already a CCAC patient, the personal support services, nursing or therapy that you are currently receiving in your home or at a clinic will continue to be delivered without interruption.
MYTH: The employer has not presented a reasonable offer.
FACT: The most recent CCAC offer was accepted by the ONA bargaining unit members at Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant CCAC on January 29, 2015. You need only look as far as CCACs' recent settlements with both CUPE and OPSEU to understand the reasonableness of the CCACs' offer to ONA:
- CUPE represents Care Coordinators, Therapists, Technical and Administrative employees in eight CCACs. Those CCACs are Champlain, South East, South West, Central East, Erie St. Clair, Waterloo Wellington, Central West and Mississauga Halton.
- The four-year agreement reached with CUPE in April 2014 included a 0.7% wage increase, plus a 0.7% lump sum payment in each year of the agreement.
- OPSEU represents Care Coordinators, Therapists, Technical, and Administrative employees in five CCACs. Those CCACs are Champlain, Central East, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant, and North East.
- The three-year agreement reached with OPSEU in October 2014 included a 1.4% lump sum payment in the first year, a 1.0% wage increase plus a 0.7% lump sum payment in the second year, and a 1.0% wage increase plus a 1.0% lump sum payment in the third year.
- In the North East, there was an additional 1.0% wage increase, recognized as a Northern premium, included in the third year.
For more information or to arrange interviews with the CCACs' provincial spokesperson, contact:
Director, Strategic Engagement, OACCAC