Negotiations break down with Sunbeam Centre nurses in Kitchener, Ont.

Workers may be forced to strike: Union

Following contract talks with the assistance of a provincial mediator, negotiations broke down May 23 between the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) and Sunbeam Centre in Kitchener, Ont.

The nine registered nurses at Sunbeam Centre — who have been working without a collective agreement since April 1 — will vote on the employer's final offer on May 25. If that offer is rejected, they will be in a strike position as of 12:01 a.m. on May 27, said the union.

"We urge the employer to get back to the bargaining table and offer a contract that is equitable to that of their counterparts and respects these members for the invaluable services they provide to vulnerable clients receiving residential and respite care across the Region of Waterloo," said Linda Haslam-Stroud, ONA president.

The major issue in the dispute is wages, which significantly lag behind those of other registered nurses working in hospitals and nursing homes, according to ONA.

ONA is the union that represents 64,000 health-care professionals, as well as almost 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

Latest stories