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The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the limits of Ontario health-care workers. The public rightly expects that those who are tasked with protecting their community will be there in an emergency.

The nurses and health-care professionals at Grey Bruce Health Unit have done just that. However, unlike many of those in power, our dedicated public health nurses have seen no massive wage increases – in fact, just the opposite has occurred.

Seeing the massive increase given to so many leaders, however, is demoralizing to nurses and health-care professionals at a time when they are struggling with burnout and exhaustion.

As President of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), representing public health nurses at Grey Bruce Health Unit, I believe that the massive increase in the Medical Officer of Health Ian Arra’s salary is out of step with the expectations of the community and just another blow to those who have put their lives on hold during this global health emergency.

I continue to hope that the true front-line heroes of the pandemic – our nurses and health-care professionals – will be respected in future for their dedication. It is well past time that our governments ensured those who use their education, skills and show such dedication are recognized and valued.

Vicki McKenna, RN
President, Ontario Nurses’ Association



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