VIDEO: Unions Rally Behind Striking Health Unit Nurses

Striking health unit nurses in Windsor and Essex County received some support on the picket line.

Unions including Unifor, CUPE,  OPSEU, Windsor University Faculty Association and CUPW all joined together at the four corners of Ouellette and Erie Friday at noon for a rally demanding the employer return to the table.

The 86 members of the Ontario Nurses Association walked off the job a week ago after rejecting the company's final offer.

"This employer seems more willing to cancel vital programs and services and to put community members at risk then to sit down and negotiate a respectful competitive collective agreement that values your skills, it is outrageous," said ONA CEO Beverly Mathers.

The rally heard the local public health nurses are in the bottom six in the province when it comes to pay.

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky says the nurses deserve a fair and reasonable collective agreement.

"Myself, my colleagues especially the women politicians, stand with you in this fight because there ain't no hood like the sisterhood," she says.

Essex MPP Taras Natyshak says nurses have the public's support.

"You are on the right side of this issue, they are on the wrong side of this issue," he said. "Our offices are bombarded by people who are concerned by the status of health care in this community, they want to know that the care is there, and what value do we put on the care, compassion and comfort you provide the community."

Money is the main issue.

Nurses are looking for an increase that reduces the gap with male-dominated professions such as police and firefighters.

Nurses have been without a contract since March 31, 2018.

The health unit says the final offer is fair and reasonable and includes increases to wages, benefits and no concessions.