Ontario Nurses Association and The Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres Headed for Arbitration
Wednesday, February, 18, 2015
One day of talks between the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) and The Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC) were all it took to send the whole contract dispute to arbitration. The mediation session lasted for twelve hours but resulted in no reported progress between the two sides, and the contract negotiation will now head to binding arbitration.
ONA described the proposal submitted to the mediation by OACCAC as more or less exactly the same as the one rejected by ONA members a few weeks ago. Arbitration is not required, but was suggested by Ontario’s Minister of Health, and both sides agreed. For its part, the ONA says it offered to participate in arbitration several months ago but the CCAC refused. ONA also strongly supported the decision to turn to arbitration, stating that it believes a neutral third-party review of the proposals will go in their favor.
CCAC staff represented by ONA has been picketing the Access Centres for several months now. The ONA represents about 3,000 workers. They have been working without a contract for 10 months. The main point of dispute is compensation, with the ONA demanding sizable raises and insisting the CCAC has the resources to offer them. The CCAC, however, contends that raising salaries and other benefits is not economically viable at the moment.