A symphony of supportive horns rang out in Barrie’s south end Monday afternoon in support of nurses protesting what they say are unfair compensation limitations on their profession by the provincial government.
The protest, which took place on Mapleview Drive near the office of Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin, was against Bill 124, a provincial bill that puts a cap on public-sector wage increases at one per cent.
Criticism of the bill surrounds the professions that are exempt from it.
There is currently a form letter online by the Ontario Nurses Association (ONA) to send to Premier Doug Ford regarding the issue.
“Your government specifically exempted public-sector workers in male-dominated professions, such as police and firefighters, from the harsh wage restraints in Bill 124,” reads the letter. “As you know, this bill caps total compensation increases to one per cent or less for three years for RNs and health-care professionals — but not so for police and others who this government values higher than nurses.”
Brandie Muir, who is a registered nurse at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH), attended Monday's protest and says nurses from all over had been coming and going throughout the day to support the protest.
“We feel it’s very unfair as there were some groups who were exempt from that,” Muir told BarrieToday. “This has been over a decade. This isn’t about pandemic pay. It’s about fairness and equality. We’re just tired of not being treated like our counterparts.”
If you’d like to send a letter of support to the provincial government, click here.