After just one day of talks assisted by a provincial conciliator, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and its nurses have reached a tentative deal on a new collective agreement.
Three days had been set aside for the talks, but negotiators for the 58 public health nurses and the health unit came to terms late Tuesday, the same day the conciliation officer arrived in Thunder Bay.
Details of the agreement are being kept confidential until ratified by both parties. The Ontario Nurses Association is currently making arrangements for its members to meet for a briefing on the contract and to hold a ratification vote.
In a press release on Wednesday, the ONA said public health nurses provide immunizations, flu vaccinations, genetic screening and health supports to new birth moms and families at risk in the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program. It said the nurses also provide sexual health clinics, participate in community wellness initiatives and surveillance of communicable diseases in the community.
The nurses association has said its members at the health unit are the lowest-paid public health nurses in the province.
Across the province, the union represents a total of 60,000 registered nurses and other health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates.