News Updates

Open letter to the Premier and Minister of Health on Appeal of Bill 124

by WeRPN

January 9, 2023

Hon. Doug Ford
Premier of Ontario
Legislative Building
Queen's Park
Toronto, ON M7A 1A1

Hon. Sylvia Jones
Deputy Premier
Minister of Health
5th Floor – 777 Bay St.
Toronto, ON M7A 1Z8

Dear Premier Ford and Minister Jones:

As the professional voice of over 60,000 Ontario nurses, the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN) is deeply concerned by your government’s decision to appeal the recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision regarding Bill 124. Ontario’s nursing crisis is growing more severe each day with increasing numbers of nurses considering leaving the profession. Appealing the court’s decision regarding Bill 124 will only continue to destabilize Ontario’s nursing workforce at a time when our healthcare system is already under unprecedented strain.

Ontario’s nurses have been on the frontlines of the pandemic for nearly three years — shouldering increasingly unsustainable workloads. Despite the significant challenges they face, nurses continue to show up to deliver the best possible care for Ontarians. Though they are dedicated professionals, we have reached a tipping point and there is only so much nurses will tolerate. The government has repeatedly applauded Ontario nurses, but so far failed to take meaningful action to ensure they are compensated appropriately for the care they provide. Ontario RPNs continue to experience wage compression. According to recent data, the median RPN wage in Ontario is only $29.72/hour while employers have been offering base salaries of $29–$33 for personal support workers. This is creating a disincentive for RPNs to remain in the nursing profession where they have additional responsibilities and accountability to the College of Nurses.

Since 2019, Bill 124 has capped salaries and limited our profession’s ability to collectively bargain in a fair manner. Coupled with the rise in inflation, Ontario nurses’ wages are well below what they should be. Nurses are critical members of our health system and they must be afforded the right to bargain just as the government has afforded that right to police and firefighters.

Ontario is at a crossroads. More nurses are considering leaving the profession than ever. According to a recent WeRPN survey, 47 per cent of RPNs are considering leaving the profession. Now is the time to be investing in our nursing workforce, not in lengthy court battles.

We urge your government to give nurses the respect they deserve and reconsider its decision to appeal the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruling.


Dianne Martin
Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN)


The Honourable Paul Calandra
Minister of Long-Term Care

To download the PDF, click here.

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