Ontario Nursing Homes Ordered to Pay Nurses and Health-Care Professionals 11.5-per-cent Salary Increases Over Two Years

TORONTO, May 21, 2024 /CNW/ – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) welcomes the arbitration decision released today that includes the most significant wage increase for registered nurses (RNs) and health-care professionals working in the province’s nursing homes in more than 30 years.


Ontario Nurses' Association Logo (CNW Group/Ontario Nurses' Association)

During the two-year term of the new collective agreement, nurses will receive an 11.5-per-cent salary increase (8.5 per cent in 2024 and 3 per cent in 2025), representing an increase of $5.82/hour.

ONA Provincial President Erin Ariss, RN, says that “this decision is a first step towards recognizing the highly skilled work performed by nurses and health-care professionals in this sector. For too long, the public has subsidized private, for-profit, nursing homes to the detriment of residents and staff. While the decision does not eliminate the wage gap between public- and private-sector nurses, it significantly reduces the disparity between them and brings us closer to equal wages.”

The arbitration decision was the result of a lengthy bargaining process that culminated in an arbitration hearing before Arbitrator Sheri Price, held on May 1 and 2, 2024. By law, nurses in long-term care are prevented from going on strike and must resolve contract negotiation disputes by arbitration.

ONA had sought significant wage increases in response to systemic deficiencies in the sector, while also pushing for increased staffing to address resident needs.

“This decision partially addresses the concerns presented by ONA,” says Ariss. “During the pandemic, many of us had to endure the indignity of wage suppression, the lack of personal protective equipment, short staffing, and outbreaks, seeing patients and staff unnecessarily endangered, but continued working through it all.

“Profit has no place in health care. Instead, we need to invest in patient, resident and client care. That’s why ONA members have campaigned and organized collective actions for months to inform their communities and build support. This new contract will not fix staffing shortages or sector neglect, especially with the Ford government pursuing a clear privatization agenda, but it is one step in the right direction.”

Ariss thanked the ONA Nursing Homes Provincial Negotiating Team and members across the province. “Together, we fought like nurses and health-care professionals. I was proud to work alongside our team throughout bargaining. I was even more proud to march with so many of our members for care, not profit. Now the fight continues, and I encourage ONA members in all sectors to get involved. The fight for better care is only beginning.”

ONA is the union representing 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

SOURCE Ontario Nurses’ Association