Ontario hospital nurses awarded additional pay after Bill 124 struck down
TORONTO — Arbitrators have awarded Ontario hospital nurses additional salary increases for the three years that were subject to a wage restraint law, after it was struck down as unconstitutional.
The 2019 law, known as Bill 124, capped wage increases for the nurses and other public sector workers at one per cent a year for three years.
It was ruled unconstitutional in November and though the government is appealing that, the Ontario Nurses' Association sought retroactive pay through an arbitrator, since the contracts were subject to be reopened if Bill 124 was repealed or declared invalid.
Arbitrators have now awarded the nurses an additional 0.75 per cent wage increase for the year starting April 1, 2020, an additional one per cent for the following year and an additional two per cent for the final year.
The nurses' association says, however, that those amounts still don't reflect the value of registered nurses, and won't be enough to address staff shortages in the profession.
Arbitration is set to be held over two days next week for the hospital nurses' next contract.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 28, 2023.
The Canadian Press