Jul 20, 2023

By Angus Gillespie

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Ontario hospital nurses will be getting raises of what their union says amounts to an average of 11% over two years.

Talks between the Ontario Nurses’ Association and the Ontario Hospital Association failed to produce a deal, so an arbitrator had to decide the terms.

William Kaplan says in an arbitration decision released today that the evidence clearly shows there is a nursing recruitment and retention crisis in Ontario’s hospitals, and compensation is one of the best ways to address it.

It’s the first contract since the nurses and other broader public sector workers were subject for three years to a wage restraint law known as Bill 124, which capped increases at one per cent a year.

Nurses and government critics have blamed Bill 124 for making it more difficult to recruit and retain nurses, particularly while they were on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

An Ontario court found Bill 124 unconstitutional late last year, but the government appealed.

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