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SEIU Healthcare Demands $35/hr for RPNs

July 20, 2021 Emily Innes-Leroux

SEIU Healthcare is proud to bring your voices to the government and fight on your behalf. We continue to put pressure on Doug Ford’s provincial government to repeal Bill 124 and support good union healthcare jobs, provide PSWS with a universal minimum wage of $25 per hour and make permanent the $4 per hour pandemic pay for all healthcare workers.

Today, we made official our newest demand when SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart wrote a letter to Doug Ford and his government urging them to introduce a universal minimum wage of at least $35 per hour for registered practical nurses (RPNs).

Read our letter to Doug Ford and his government below:

RE: It’s time to raise the wages of Registered Practical Nurses and repeal Bill 124

Premier Ford,

I write this letter to urge your government to take immediate steps to bring relief to Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) – both financial relief and emotional relief.

SEIU Healthcare is proud to represent tens of thousands of RPNs working throughout Ontario’s healthcare system. We’re hearing directly from our members about the everyday stress they’re
experiencing on the frontline.

It is time to bring economic relief to Ontario’s RPN. That is why SEIU Healthcare is calling on you to introduce a universal minimum wage of at least $35 per hour for RPNs. Historically, an RPN could
expect to earn approximately 75 per cent of the wages paid to an RN, even though their work overlaps as much as 90 per cent. $35 per hour would return the wage imbalance to this historical standard. This is
the fair thing to do.

The emotional toll of the pandemic is causing a record number of RPNs to leave the workforce. RPNs are feeling the disrespect from Bill 124, which not only means real wage cuts as the prices of everything rise,
but it also makes bargaining access to mental health support nearly impossible. Bill 124 means healthcare workers on the brink are being denied access to mental health services. That’s wrong and
you can fix this. After shouldering the crushing impact of COVID-19, Bill 124 should be immediately repealed for healthcare workers.

A new $35 per hour universal minimum wage for RPNs and the elimination of Bill 124 would begin to
address the retention and recruitment crisis facing the all sectors of the health system.

Your promises of ending hallway healthcare in our hospitals, as well as achieving a guarantee of four hours of hands-on care per resident per day in long-term care, are only possible if we support our RPNs.

We call on you to take these two first steps today.

Sincerely,

Sharleen Stewart
President
SEIU Healthcare

 

cc:
The Hon. Christine Elliott
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health

The Hon. Rod Phillips
Minister of Long-Term Care

Jackie Walker
President
SEIU Healthcare Nursing Division

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