Nurses and Healthcare Employer Headed to Mediation
Wednesday, December, 23, 2015
The eight month strike by the home care nurses in Niagara and Norfolk will soon come to an end as the company and union head to binding arbitration. Both sides have agreed to abide by the process, regardless of who the outcome favors.
The group of nurses work for CarePartners, an organization that caters to the sick and dying at homehave spent the last eight months on the picket line, but will now gradually return to work as the new year rolls around. Many will undergo retraining following their time away from patients.
The two agreed to arbitration following a recent day-long mediation session between the Ontario Public Service Employees Union and CarePartners.
About 140 nurses have been affected by the strike that has been ongoing since last spring following a breakdown of contract discussions. The nurses claimed to have put in long hours for low pay and they want to end the policy of being paid per visit and instead receive an hourly wage.
CarePartners believes it cannot afford to use this method of payment because it is reimbursed by the government on a per-visit basis. The rates it receives from the government are frozen, so any increase will need to come from somewhere else.
Both the nurses and CarePartners are hoping to move forward with the dispute and put the problems behind them once the arbitration ruling comes down. CarePartners is responsible for the medical care of approximately 1800 patients throughout Niagara and Norfolk, and also takes on an additional varying number of post-surgery patients on a temporary basis.