Nursing Association Not Happy with Health Unit's Final Offer

More than a dozen nurses gathered outside of the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit's board meeting Thursday night to protest failed contract talks.

Barb Deter is the Bargaining Committee President for the Ontario Nurses' Association, she tells CTV Windsor the health unit tabled its final offer and it's not going to cut it for more than 80 nursing staff.

Deter says mediation failed to bring both sides together on wages, which the association has said shows a disparity between male-dominated professions and female-dominated professions such as nursing.

"We're disappointed, very disappointed in that final offer that they've given us," says Deter. "All we wanted is a fair collective agreement and we did not achieve that today."

With the Bargaining Committee recommending membership turn down the deal, she's hoping it's not actually management's final offer and they'll return to the table.

"We will be taking that offer back to the membership, but the bargaining team is not recommending accepting the agreement," she says.

A vote will be held at the Essex County Civic Centre on Thursday March 7 at 5pm.

If an agreement isn't reached by midnight, the health unit could lock out nursing staff or workers could walk-out, according to a statement from the ONA.

Nurses at the health unit have been without a contract since March of last year.

— with files from CTV Windsor's Chris Campbell.