Nurses across the province are standing together to call on the provincial government to immediately repeal Bill 124 and stop a nursing exodus that is devastating Ontarians and their health system.
On Nov. 14, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO), alongside nurses and other public sector workers will join the group Nursewithsign416 (@Nursewithsign on Twitter) in Toronto to rally against Bill 124. The legislation caps compensation increases for a broad range of public sector workers, including nurses, at just one per cent.
Despite their tireless efforts to care for Ontarians over the course of the pandemic, nurses’ incomes are not keeping up with the cost of living. The lack of respect implied in Bill 124 is triggering many registered nurses (RN) to leave the profession. Bill 124 must be repealed as an immediate first step for RN retention in the province.
“Ontario is already in the midst of a nursing crisis that is being worsened by Bill 124, disincentivizing nurses to stay in a profession they love. On top of that, nurses are also facing chronic understaffing made worse by a 22-month pandemic. If this legislation is not repealed, nurses will continue to leave and health-care organizations will continue to face staffing challenges and longer wait times for already backlogged procedures and surgeries,” says RNAO CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun. “RNAO is joining this rally on Nov. 14 and welcomes all nurses, other health workers, educators, and the public to join in sounding the alarm so the government listens and repeals Bill 124.”
“Nurses are leaving the bedside in droves and a large part is because Bill 124 – the final straw,” says RN Leah Waxman, one of the rally organizers. “On Nov. 14, we want to show our fellow nurses that silence is no longer an option. We have a right to a wage increase that is not below inflation and we have a right to tell the public what is happening in Ontario hospitals and other sectors: staffing challenges are so severe that Ontarians’ health care is in danger if the current conditions continue.”
RNAO president Morgan Hoffarth reinforces that “RNAO has long spoken out about the challenges of RN understaffing across the province, which has now evolved into a major crisis with a large number of RN vacancies across the province.” Hoffarth adds: “According to Statistics Canada, RN vacancies in Ontario have more than quadrupled over the last five years and there was a 56 per cent increase in vacancies over the first half of this year (2021). It is imperative for Premier Ford to signal that our government values nursing by repealing Bill 124, which demoralizes and undermines our profession and at the end of the day is a total slap in the face.”
To support nurses’ call for action, join us on Nov. 14 and please sign and share our Action Alert calling on the premier to repeal Bill 124.
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) along with nurses and other public sector workers will rally to repeal Bill 124. The gathering will be socially distanced with masking encouraged.
Sunday, Nov. 14 at 12 p.m. ET
Featured speakers include:
- Nancy Halupa and Leah Waxman, RNs and rally organizers
- Dr. Raghu Venugopal, ER physician
- Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO CEO
- Cathryn Hoy, RN and first provincial vice-president of ONA
- Sara Fung and Amie Varley, RNs
- RNAO President Morgan Hoffarth along with other RNAO board and assembly of leaders
- Nurses and other public sector workers
Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St. W) in Toronto, Ont.
Join the conversation on social media using #RepealBill124
The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve. For more information about RNAO, visit RNAO.ca or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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