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The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit has accepted a request from the mediator appointed by the province to attend a meeting next week with the nurses’ union.

Theresa Marentette, CEO and chief nursing officer of the health unit, says she hopes the Ontario Nurses Association accepts this meeting.

She says they look forward to a productive and informative discussion regarding the current labour disruption.

The 86 nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and public health nurses rejected an offer tabled on April 10. The nurses also rejected a tentative agreement on April 3.

The nurses have been striking since March 8, asking for more money.

“We are hopeful that the Health Unit and its public health nurses will come to a resolution soon and, as always, we remain ready to return to the bargaining table,” says Marentette.

She says the health unit has not received any requests to meet from ONA’s bargaining unit since its membership rejected our last offer, which included an increase both to wages and benefits.

The health unit is reassuring the public that all immunization clinics provided by the Health Unit, including those for HPV, meningitis and hepatitis B, have not been permanently cancelled.

Some services have been temporarily postponed due to the ongoing ONA labour dispute, however the health unit has plans in place to ensure that all those who require vaccinations will receive them once the strike concludes.

Parents can visit their child’s healthcare provider to access publicly-funded vaccinations. If you have concerns about immunizations for your child, please contact your healthcare provider or the Health Unit at 519-258-2146 to discuss alternative options.