Ontario LTC nurses get 11.5 per cent pay increase over two years

TORONTO — Nurses in the majority of long-term care homes in Ontario are set to get what their union is calling the most significant wage increase in more than 30 years.

An arbitration decision released this week gives pay bumps to the Ontario Nurses' Association members that work out to about 11.5 per cent over two years.

The arbitrator awarded three-per-cent increases in each of the two years, and set the salary grid amounts about 5.5 per cent higher, taking effect on July 1.

The starting wage for registered nurses in the long-term care homes goes from $32.22 per hour to $33.99 in the new grid, while the top, eight-year rate goes from $48.78 to $51.46, but when the two years of three-per-cent increases are factored in it rises to $54.60.

ONA also represents nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses, personal support workers, health-care aides and guest attendants in some of the homes.

President Erin Ariss says the decision is a first step toward recognizing the highly skilled work performed by nurses and health professionals in the sector.

"While the decision does not eliminate the wage gap between public- and private-sector nurses, it significantly reduces the disparity between them and brings us closer to equal wages,” she wrote in a statement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2024.

The Canadian Press