Regional chair says gender is not a factor in contract talks

Niagara's Region Chair is not buying into allegations gender comes into play when negotiating contracts with regional workers 

The Ontario Nurses Association has launched an online campaign asking residents to support the region's registered nurses and nurse practitioners working for the Public Health Unit by putting pressure on regional council.

The association says the final offer presented to them is lower than what was given to the male dominated police force and less than what was offered to hospital, nursing home, and Community Care Access Centre nurses.

ONA First Vice President Vicki McKenna says in a release, "The lack of respect shown to our nurses is truly puzzling. We cannot help but wonder if the majority of public health nurses were men, whether the employer would have been more respectful. "

Regional Chair Alan Caslin says gender is simply not a factor.

"We have both genders in both the police force and the Nurses' Association. Whether they are dominated or not is not something that enters into our discussion. They are independent and dealt with on an independent basis."

He also says that these sort of public pushes may actually be doing the organization a disservice.

"It gets tricky when we start getting into campaigning for a specific union or a specific group. It's unfair to the other groups, it's unfair to the people who are being campaigned in making sure that they use appropriate rationale for the decisions that get made in trying to settle an agreement."

To access the ONA campaign click here: