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Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Urges Interest Arbitration

TORONTO, February 13, 2015 – As the labour disruption affecting nine Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) enters its fifteenth day, CCACs are disappointed that discussions with the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) and a mediator from the Ministry of Labour were suspended yesterday with no resolution. 

"It is very disappointing that we were unable to reach a negotiated settlement with ONA even after 12 hours of mediation," says Megan Allen-Lamb, provincial CCAC spokesperson, CEO of North Simcoe Muskoka CCAC.  "We understand that the Minister of Health has just recommended we consider interest arbitration to resolve our wage dispute.   Although we prefer to reach a negotiated solution, we respect the views of the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and are willing to participate in interest arbitration in order to bring resolution to this dispute and enable our employees to return to work," added Allen-Lamb.  "ONA has contended that the wage dispute be settled based on the outcomes of other interest arbitration awards. Perhaps allowing a neutral third party to review the relative merits of both parties' positions is the only way to bring an end to this dispute." 

Ten CCACs had been engaged in collective bargaining with ONA since spring 2014. One CCAC, Hamilton Niagara Haldimand Brant, was able to secure a deal with their ONA-represented employees on January 29, 2015. The offers rejected by the majority of ONA-represented employees at nine other CCACs include wage increases over a two-year term and are comparable to the collective agreements achieved with CCAC employees represented by OPSEU and CUPE.   

"While effective contingency planning and strong partnerships across the home, community and hospital sectors have enabled the impacted CCACs to continue to meet the needs of their priority patients, it is in the best interest of our patients, our employees and our health care partners that this labour disruption be resolved," says Allen-Lamb. 

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For more information:

John Priddle
Director, Strategic Engagement, OACCAC