‘It’s going to bankrupt health care’: Spending on temp agency nurses up more than 550% since pre-pandemic at one Toronto hospital network
Health Impact News
September 29, 2020
As the COVID 19 pandemic continues without end, one health care team has been under a devastating financial stress as it faces what many would describe as a “perfect storm” of financial devastation.
On March 21, 2020, the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) launched its #NeverWorkForYourMeds campaign to raise awareness of the dire reality that temp agency nurses and nurses who are temping at home are facing.
Weeks earlier, on March 11, the same day the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID19 a pandemic, the ONA launched an open letter to the Government of Ontario requesting they issue a moratorium and stop all temping of nurses in the province.
After the letter was sent, the province finally responded, agreeing to a week-long moratorium on all temping in Ontario until further notice. Despite this, the ONA and its members have continued to face financial pressure as they fight to protect their health care workers.
The Ontario Government continues to refuse to allow the ONA to work with temp agencies, as per Health and Wellness Canada’s recommendation. On May 2, 2020, the ONA launched a lawsuit in the Ontario Superior Court to enjoin the government from denying its members safe work at home.
The Ontario Government continues to be the worst in the whole world in terms of COVID19 pandemic.
But if the government could help, they’d be more than willing to come to the side of public health, nurses and temps, who are in desperate need of safety and security.
While in the midst of all this, temping nurses are still receiving a wage that is significantly lower than non-temping Canadian nurse wages and, as a result, have to live off of savings or other types of low-paying work in order to survive. While temping nurses receive much lower wages than the average