Striking public health nurses and their supporters at a rally in Windsor, March 15, 2019. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Public nurses in Windsor-Essex reject new deal

The public health nurses strike continues in Windsor-Essex.

A news release issued on Tuesday afternoon stated the 86 nurses voted against a tentative deal reached late Monday night with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.

“We are disappointed that this strike will continue, and that our dedicated nurses are not yet able to go back to doing what they care so deeply about, working to ensure the health and well-being of their communities,” said Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) President Vicki McKenna.

The nurses have been on strike since March 8. Wages are a key issue in the dispute. The nurses have been without a contract for a year.

ONA said the nurses will continue to use their time on the picket line to organize more events to support their community. The nurses are challenging their colleagues at the Windsor Regional Hospital to bring personal care products to the picket line in Windsor to be donated to New Beginnings and The Bridge Youth Resource Centre, which support at-risk youth in the community.

The community is also invited to drop off toiletries such as deodorant, baby wipes, toothpaste, shampoo, and other items at the Ouellette picket line on April 4 and 5 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

They have already led a diaper drive and donated more than 17,000 diapers to The Downtown Mission to support families in need, sponsored a community blood drive and helped Canadian Blood Services surpass its goal of reaching 116 per cent of their daily blood collection goal.