Nurses with Peterborough Public Health enter mediation talks

Peterborough Public Health nurses could face job action at the end of November.
Peterborough Public Health nurses could face job action at the end of November. Global News file

Mediation talks are scheduled Monday for nurses with Peterborough Public Health.

The 31 nurses who are part of the Ontario Nurses’ Association say they have been without a contract since October 2017. The union says the key issue is excess workload for the “lean” number of staff.

READ MORE: Peterborough Public Health nurses hold information picket

The union says they could get in a legal strike position as of Nov. 28. To date, the union and Peterborough Public Health have completed four days of negotiations and one day of conciliation.

“None of which has resulted in a new collective agreement,” the union stated.

ONA president Vicki McKenna says the 31 nurses provide care for 130,000 people in the city and surrounding area.

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“As nurses, we never want to be forced to withdraw our vital services, including disease outbreak control, ensuring new families can care for their infants, and providing injury prevention and health education at schools,” stated McKenna. “Our first priority is the health and well-being of our communities.”

Peterborough Public Health says contingency plans are in place in the event of labour disruption. The building at 185 King St. will remain open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.

But some services and programs may be suspended including flu clinics, Healthy Babies, Healthy Children, prenatal classes, breastfeeding support, tobacco cessation groups, some school health programming and youth engagement activities.

Peterborough Public Health advises visiting its website or social media for the latest update or to call the main office at 705-743-1000.