Thunder Bay health unit nurses ratify tentative deal

After about a month on the picket lines, 58 public health nurses with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit appear to be going back to work.

Union says strike, which began Oct. 16, was 'the longest nurses’ strike in recent memory'

Public health nurses with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit ratified a new collective agreement reached on Friday. (Matt Prokopchuk / CBC)

After about a month on the picket lines, 58 public health nurses with the Thunder Bay District Health Unit appear to be going back to work.

The Ontario Nurses Association announced over the weekend that its members had ratified a tentative agreement reached with the health unit. A joint statement between the two sides said that agreement came Friday after talks restarted with a new mediator that morning, with bargaining teams for the union and the health unit both recommending the deal.

The board of health still has to meet to ratify the agreement for the health unit.

The nurses walked off the job Oct. 16 after one day of mediated talks and several days of negotiations failed to produce a new collective agreement. The union said that the Thunder Bay nurses were among the lowest-paid in Ontario; staffing levels and working conditions were also core issues during negotiations, according to the nurses association.

No details of the new deal were immediately available.

A tweet from the Ontario Nurses Association said that the Thunder Bay strike was "the longest nurses' strike in recent memory."