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Striking health-care workers back to work Tuesday

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QMI Agency

More than 3,000 nurses and health-care workers will return to work Tuesday after spending two weeks on picket lines.

The labour dispute between workers represented by the Ontario Nurses’ Association and nine Community Care access Centres across Ontario, will head to arbitration. Nurses had asked for a 1.4% wage increase each year over the life of a two-year deal to match the one given to registered nurses’ in Ontario’s hospitals.

“This is excellent news for more than 650,000 people, including seniors, who receive care through our Community Care Access Centres and community agencies,” Health Minister Eric Hoskins said in a statement. But ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud slammed the strike as a “colossal waste of health care dollars,” saying the union had offered to go to arbitration with the government months ago. CCAC executives have been bargaining in bad faith and forced the labour disruption, she said.

“Unfortunately, it took our members’ resolve when forced out on to the picket lines to bring the government and employers to their senses,” Haslam-Stroud said in a statement.

shawn.jeffords@sunmedia.ca

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