Wednesday, April 27, 2016

ONA Local 8 RNs present MPPs with Petitions

Tonight ONA Local 8 hosted a Night with the Nurses. Registered nurses and nurse practitioners had an open and honest discussion with Lisa Gretzky and Percy Hatfield, local NDP MPPs about the cuts to health care and the real danger this poses to patients. Highlighted was the drastic RN hours lost at WRH with the reduction of over 170 RN positions.
The Local also presented Lisa Gretzky and Percy Hatfield with over 7800 petitions calling for the end to the RN cuts and restore funding to our health care system. Our petitions will be read into legislation May 9th at Queens' Park.
Members who want to attend can Get On The Bus To Queens Park by clicking this link!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Nurses excluded from PTSD bill ask, 'If we're not first responders, who is?'

Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen

Nurse Julie Prince in Igoma, Tanzania, on September 2012 while on a medical mission with World Partners Canada.
Late in 2014, Julie Prince’s life started to unravel.
After a shift at the hospital where she worked as a nurse in the labour and delivery unit, she would spend hours sobbing on the couch, haunted by images of dead babies.
Prince had worked as a nurse since 2002 in neonatal intensive units in seven hospitals in the United States and Ontario, and later in a labour and delivery unit in southwestern Ontario. Only a dozen years into a career she loved, she felt oppressed by the accumulation of death she had witnessed.
“I’ve always loved babies. But going into it, I didn’t realize how sad it would be,” she said.
Julie Prince in Leogane, Haiti in March, 2010 after a devastating earthquake.
Julie Prince in Leogane, Haiti, in March 2010 after a devastating earthquake.
By the end of the year, Prince could not even drive past the hospital. She was diagnosed with depression and elements of PTSD a few months later.
Earlier this month, Ontario passed a bill that recognizes PTSD as an occupational illness for Ontario first responders, covering police, paramedics, corrections workers, dispatchers and First Nations emergency response teams.
That adds up to about 73,000 workers.
Who it doesn’t include are the province’s nurses, unlike similar legislation in Manitoba.
Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, says there are about 140,000 nurses in this province, and they deserve to be covered.
Nurses are exposed not only to the trauma of what they witness, but also to the vioence of patients, says Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario.
Nurses are exposed not only to the trauma of what they witness, but also to the violence of patients, says Doris Grinspun, CEO of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. Alex Urosevic, Toronto Sun
Nurses are exposed to the traumatic things they witness — suffering, dying patients, massive bleeding, wounds caused by trauma, exposure to horrific infectious diseases.
Grinspun says she was involved during the deadly SARS outbreak of 2003. “I know for a fact that two nurses never went back to work. But the great majority continue to work. Very few just leave. Many are living with chronic PTSD.”
Meanwhile, nurses are also punched, beaten, stabbed and verbally abused by patients.
The Ontario Hospital Association reported more than 6,400 incidents of workplace violence in the province’s hospitals in 2015, said Erna Bujna, a health and safety specialist with the Ontario Nurses’ Association.
Earlier this month, a patient attacked a female registered nurse at the Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care in Penetanguishene with two screwdrivers taken from a shop in the vocational services area. The nurse suffered a stab wound to the back as well as facial injuries. The nurse manager who tried to intervene sustained puncture wounds and a broken nose, and two other staff members were injured while trying to restrain the patient.
In Ottawa, a registered practical nurse was assaulted in September 2015 in The Royal’s recovery unit at its Carling Avenue campus. Few details have been released, but the hospital said it conducted an immediate debriefing and offered employee assistance to the workers. Three workers at The Royal were beaten in a June 2012 by a male patient being treated for schizophrenia.
By the numbers
And yet, nurses seeking Workers Safety and Insurance Board benefits for PTSD must prove that their condition is related to their workplace. “Nurses should not have to continually relive these horrific and traumatic events to prove entitlement to WSIB benefits,” Bujna told the province’s standing committee on social policy last month.
Bujna believes there are two reasons why nurses are not included in the province’s new PTSD bill. First, WSIB is funded by employers. If hospitals have to pay more, it will end up costing the province.
“In my opinion, the government is trying to control the number of allowed WSIB claims so health care employers won’t have to take responsibility for preventing the illnesses, and (it) keeps their WSIB costs down.”
Second, nursing is a female-dominated profession, and Bujna said she sees sexism in leaving nurses out. “There is just greater attention on male-dominated workplaces.”
In response to an inquiry about why nurses are not included in the legislation, Labour Minister Kevin Flynn’s spokesman, Craig MacBride, said Flynn recently met with nurses on this issue and last year created a Leadership Table on Violence in Healthcare with Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Eric Hoskins.
Bill 163 is “intended to respond to the needs of those who need it most – first responders, including nurses in correctional facilities, who are at least twice as likely to suffer from PTSD because of their work.”
MacBride said all Ontario workers are covered for PTSD through the WSIB. “Bill 163 simply creates a more responsive process for those who are most likely to face traumatic experiences on a regular basis.”
But nurses are asking: If they’re not first responders who face traumatic experiences, then who is?
“There is no question our nurses are also first responders, and in our female-dominated health-care workplaces they experience and witness as much — if not more — traumatic events than the men in the male-dominated workplaces that were covered by this law,” Bujna said. 
Nurses are with their patients for 12 hours at a time, especially in ICU settings and sometimes childbirth, Prince said. It leads to a whole other level of bonding and exposure than other first responders, she says.
When Prince heard the nurses were being excluded from the legislation, she wrote a blog that told the poignant story of her descent into crippling depression and anxiety. 
She had worked in neonatal intensive units, not only with premature babies weighing only a pound or two, but fragile newborns born with genetic syndromes. Prince came to see her role as going through a journey with these families, building a relationship with the people who were in her unit for as long as eight months. 
Julie Prince holding the hand of a baby born at 24 weeks gestation. The little girl, who survived, "just keeps on fighting," says Prince.
Julie Prince holding the hand of a baby born at 24 weeks gestation. The little girl, who survived, “just keeps on fighting,” says Prince.
Many babies did not survive. Prince collected mementos for the parents, tiny footprints, boxes containing the baby’s quilt, a tiny knit hat.
“It is a privilege to walk with people through death,” she said.
When a baby is withdrawn from life support, it’s the nurse who hands over the baby to the parents to be held for the last time, Prince said. It’s the nurse who takes the baby back from the parents and brings the baby to the morgue and lays its body wrapped in blankets on a cold metal shelf. Sometimes, the family decides not to be there when a baby is taken off life-support.
And while people associate the maternity ward with happy moments, Prince found that working in labour and delivery brought “a whole other level of intensity and stress.” There were miscarriages and difficult births. She coached women to deliver babies that had died in utero.
“I want people to recognize what nurses do on a daily basis and the repeated traumas and sorrow that they are exposed to,” said Prince. “I want the government to acknowledge that the risk of trauma exposure and PTSD is clearly there, and when nurses do need the assistance, for it to be available.”
Prince could feel herself getting burned out. By mid-December 2014, she said, she was plagued by overwhelming grief and anxiety. “I didn’t want to take care of anyone anymore.”
PTSD was never mentioned as a risk for nurses while she was in nursing school. Debriefing has been studied as a valuable tool to help defuse stress. Fellow nurses know when a colleague has had traumatic or sorrowful day. But “there is literally no time to debrief,” Prince said.

“Somehow we have to establish a culture among nurses that encourages this and that makes room for this. We need administration in hospitals to recognize what their nurses face on a daily basis. We need them to prioritize the mental health of their own.”
Prince doesn’t regret a moment of her nursing career. “Every loss has been a deep, deep privilege.”
She now works with a Community Care Access Centre as a nursing care co-ordinator. Her PTSD treatment has been successful, but it was hard work, she said. Part of that was the “exposure therapy” of returning to the hospital. I took her more than a year to return to the childbirth unit to hand in her badge.
“My colleagues had no clue,” she said.

'A great mistake to leave out nurses:' expert

Joanne Laucius, Ottawa Citizen

Dr. John Bradford says it's "madness" to separate nurses from other first responders.
It makes “absolutely no sense” to exclude nurses from Ontario’s new PTSD legislation, says renowned forensic psychiatrist Dr. John Bradford.
Paramedics are covered under the proposed bill, as are police officers, firefighters, workers in correctional institutions and dispatchers.
Bradford, who wrote a letter to the province in support of the Ontario Nurses’ Association, argues that a paramedic who goes to the scene, stabilizes a patient and prepares the patient for transport is under the same kind of stress as the emergency room nurse who receives the patient.
“To split first responders and nurses is madness,” Bradford said this week from his office at the Brockville Mental Health Centre.
In forensic psychiatry, staff always must be aware of the potential for violence — “Code White” is hospital-talk for physical violence against a member of the staff.
There is also the anxiety of protecting the public from patients who have been released into the community. The risk level creates anxiety and stress, said Bradford.
“We manage risk day in, day out. No matter how safe we try to be, we work with difficult and dangerous people. The team I work with knows the risks and odds.”
A female patient stabbed a nurse in the neck with a pen at the Brockville Mental Health Centre in October 2014.
“If that happened to you or me, there’s a good chance we would develop PTSD,” Bradford said.
But he argues that nurses who work in mental health aren’t the only ones who are vulnerable — those who work in general hospitals, especially emergency departments “have many of the same experiences as first responders.”
Bradford has seen both sides of PTSD. In 2013, he went public about seeking treatment for his own PTSD diagnosis.
As a respected forensic psychiatrist, Bradford had sat across from infamous killers including Paul Bernardo and Robert “Willie” Pickton, and reviewed graphic evidence of crimes. But he has described how he broke down after he saw video evidence of Canadian Air Force colonel Russell Williams assaulting two young women, knowing the video would end in their deaths. All the evidence he had seen over the course of his career rushed back at him, and he drove home weeping.
“Everyone we see has done horrible things. We try to compartmentalize that in our minds when we help patients therapeutically. But this kind of compartmentalization can make you very vulnerable to PTSD,” Bradford said.

Violence On The Rise At Windsor Regional

Officials with Windsor Regional Hospital say the incidents of violence against staff is trending in the wrong direction.
President and CEO David Musyj says more and more staff are reporting incidents of being abused on the job.
“We’re starting to see family members verbally being very aggressive with staff members,” says Musyj. “That seems to be increasing a lot.”
Susan Sommerdyk with the Ontario Nurses’ Association at the hospital says staff suffer both verbal and physical abuse.
“Anything from being yelled at, threatened with lawsuits all the way to being physically punched or kicked or hit or spit at or scratched, it’s pretty well anything in between,” says Sommerdyk.
There were 144 workplace violence incidents recorded in 2015 which Sommerdyk says are grossly under reported by staff.
She says the first quarter of 2016 has seen 113 incidents reported, already more than double the 55 incidents reported in the first part of last year.
Sommerdyk says the long-standing issue has unfairly been seen as something that comes with part of the job of being a nurse.
“A lot of people you’ll actually still hear that coming from, but we’re here to say that it’s not. No one should have to be fearful when they go to work or worry about being harmed,” says Sommerdyk.
Musyj agrees.
“Being harassed or even assaulted by a patient or a family member, that’s not part of their job,” says Musyj. “There’s no reason to be verbally threatening to staff members. That’s not needed. That’s uncalled for.”
Sommerdyk says strides are being made in encouraging staff to report incidents and says Windsor Regional is working with ONA to deal with the problem.
“Things are changing, but it’s slow,” says Sommerdyk. “Not all places embrace that or want to tackle that issue.”
Windsor Regional has a protocol in place to identify to staff patients who have had abusive outbursts as one of its workplace safety measures. The hospital is also working with Toronto East General Hospital — seen as a leader in dealing with workplace violence — to improve strategies dealing with the issue.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Local 8 ONA Members - Help me bring 10,000 signatures to Queen's Park!

We've collected 10,000 signatures on our petition for better care!
Thank you for your hard work—having conversations with your family, friends, and neighbours—to make this happen.
On May 9, Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) will be presenting our petition and asking questions in the provincial legislature.
Start off your Nursing Week right by coming to Queen's Park with me. Let's send the message to our government that RN cuts must stop.
In solidarity,
Sue Sommerdyk, RN
Bargaining Unit President, Windsor Regional Hospital
Local Coordinator, Local 8
Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA)

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Health Unit Launches Community Survey

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is looking to hear from you to improve public health services in our community.
To do so, they have launched a Community Needs Assessment survey.
The survey is the first step toward better understanding the health-related needs and concerns of our community. Data collection methods from the survey consist of: the community survey, focus groups, key informant interviews, and available population health data. The information gathered through the CNA process will be used to help better meet the public health needs of our community.
Once the survey closes on May 16th, 2016, the Health Unit will analyze the results, along with other information collected through focus groups, key informant interviews, and existing data sources. A summary of the survey findings will be made available to the public on the Health Unit website upon completion, in the summer of 2016.
You can find the survey on their website at

Ontario’s community hospital cuts worst in Canada: Report

Toronto – The data is irrefutable. Ontario’s cuts to hospital nursing care and hospital beds are the most severe of anywhere in Canada. In a new report Beyond Limits: Ontario’s Deepening Hospital Cuts Crisis released today, the Ontario Health Coalition finds that the cuts to community hospital care are a result of eight consecutive years of global funding for the province’s hospitals. Now, heading into the ninth year in a row of real-dollar cuts to hospitals’ global budgets, Ontario’s community hospitals are now lagging behind virtually all other provinces in every reasonable measure of hospital funding. The coalition’s report includes an updated list tracking hospital service and staffing cuts in every region of the province for the last four years. Among the key findings:
  • Ontario’s government has cut hospitals’ global budgets in real-dollar terms for 8 years in a row. If the government does not change course, 2016 -17 will be the ninth consecutive year of hospital cuts – the longest period of hospital cuts in the history of Ontario’s public hospitals.
  • Ontario now has the least amount of nursing care per average patient (including RN and RPN care).
  • Ontario has the fewest hospital beds left of all provinces in Canada, and lags far below the other provinces.
  • Ontario has the highest hospital readmission rates in Canada, and they are rising.
  • By every reasonable measure, Ontario’s hospital funding levels are at or near the bottom of the country and far from the average of the other provinces.
  • Cuts are resulting a crisis of overcrowding; cancelled surgeries because there are no beds; too-early discharges; high re-admission rates; infections; violence; ambulance delays; understaffing; and compromised safety for patients and staff alike.
“That people are sleeping on stretchers in hallways in every major city in Ontario, sometimes for days at a time, is a travesty. Small and rural hospitals are being eviscerated despite all evidence regarding community need. The fact that staffing and funding are being cut to unsafe levels without any reasonable benchmarks shows just how far beyond any limits Ontario’s hospital cuts have gone,” said Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition. “This issue should be considered the serious crisis that it truly is, by our policy makers.”
Student interns from Ryerson University’s nursing program, Patricia Julian and Celine Yu helped to research and compile the list of cuts. They expressed shock at what they found. “Among the enormous cuts to hospitals in the largest cities of Ontario, what stood out to me the most were the cuts to mental health services,” noted Patricia Julian, citing cuts from Hamilton’s east end psychiatric clinic to London Ontario where mental health patients have been sleeping on the emergency department floor while waiting for hospital beds to open up. “These cuts are devastating to an already vulnerable population.” “Northern and small community’s hospitals have been victim to numerous cuts and even the risk of closure,” reported Celine Yu. “These closures and cuts risk patients’ lives and ultimately the health of entire communities.”
“Like every Ontarian, we have been appalled at the money that is taken away from care in exorbitant executive salaries, consultants, PR people and ballooning managements,” noted Ms. Mehra. “But even taking this into account, Ontario’s government still funds our communities’ hospitals at a lower rate by every measure than other provinces and has cut care levels beyond any comparable jurisdiction. This underlines the facts that our government can and should choose to restore services and funding, and to ensure that funding goes to actual care and vital support services that patients rely upon.”

For the full report:
For more information: Kim Johnston campaign director (416) 441-2502.
~ Protecting Public Medicare for All ~

Ontario Health Coalition
15 Gervais Drive, Suite 604
Toronto, ON M3C 1Y8

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I guess we are supposed to be grateful?

Hansard - April 11/2016

Health care funding

Mr. Patrick Brown: My question is for the Premier. While this government has been busy attending secret $6,000 fundraising dinners, I’ve been touring hospitals and meeting with front-line workers across this province. Just this past weekend, I was in Windsor. I was told first-hand—
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): I expect some civility here, and I’ll get it one way or another.
Finish, please.
Mr. Patrick Brown: I was told first-hand the impact of this government’s mismanagement on health care in Windsor: 120 nurses are gone because of this government, and $20 million cut to Windsor Regional because of this government. The budget promised one thing, but what we’re seeing in reality is very, very different.
I can tell you: I didn’t charge a single red cent to meet with nurses in Windsor. I wanted to hear their concerns; I wanted to hear their stories.
My question for the Premier: Will the Premier meet with the nurses in Windsor without charging them $6,000 a plate?
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Thank you.
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I think that the Leader of the Opposition is fully aware that I meet with people all over the province—consistently, Mr. Speaker—from every sector.
We’re committed, on health care, to making sure that people in Ontario have the right care, that they have it in a timely way and that they have it in the right place. To that end, funding for Windsor hospitals has increased by $124 million. That’s a 47% increase during our tenure as government. In fact, just this fiscal year, $7 million was provided to help Windsor Regional Hospital with budget pressures and to help the transition process from a registered-nurse model to a registered-practical-nurse model.
That is work that is going on in other parts of the province. The focus of those funds was to ensure that the reduction of FTEs occurred through attrition and retirement and not through layoffs. So it’s a different model. There is a transition. There is, overall in health care, a transition going on. We are working with the health care sector in every community across the province.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary.
Mr. Patrick Brown: Back to the Premier: Those are talking points to justify a $20-million cut to Windsor Regional Hospital. But I can tell you, it’s not just Windsor. Last month, St. Joseph’s health centre in London was forced to cut 49 full-time positions and 12 transitional care beds. Just last month, LifeLabs announced they were closing 15 patient service centres. The CEO of LifeLabs said they had to close the centres because the demand for testing had increased but funding had not.
Patients will struggle to get the testing they need done. The government has created this situation, forcing communities to close clinics and doctors’ offices; they have fired nurses and front-line health care workers.
So my question is: Now that the Premier has demanded that the Minister of Health not have private, high-level fundraising dinners, will he now have the time to support physicians and nurses and stop closing labs?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: Once again, let me just reinforce that the way we make policy decisions on this side of the House has nothing to do with political donations, even though the innuendo on the other side of the House would suggest that. It’s simply false.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Finish, please.
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: What the Leader of the Opposition does not talk about is the rehiring of nurses. He doesn’t talk about what’s happening in one part of the sector. We’ve increased the percentage of nurses working full-time by 13.9% in our term of government—since 2003. There are now 26,300 more nurses working in nursing in Ontario since we took office. There has been a massive influx of nurses into the system, and we are working with communities around the province to make sure that service is delivered adequately.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Final supplementary.
Mr. Patrick Brown: Back to the Premier: Once again, if the Premier wasn’t petrified of a public inquiry, she would welcome this sunshine, this spotlight, on this topic.
We all know that doctors have been without a contract for two years. During that time, Liberals have unilaterally cut $815 million from physicians. Further, the Minister of Health won’t even meet with physicians. So my question is: Is it because the doctors didn’t ante up for the Liberal fundraising calls? How many $6,000 dinners will it take for the Premier and the Minister of Health to actually meet with our physicians in the province of Ontario?
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Be seated, please. Thank you.
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: The Minister of Health is very much engaged with the OMA. We would like very much to have an opportunity to sit down at the table and work out an arrangement with them.
The Leader of the Opposition may not remember, but this is the highest-paid group of physicians in the country. They have every right to earn a good wage, but the reality is that we need that opportunity to sit down with them. We’re open to that. We want to work this out, and the Minister of Health is engaged with them on a regular basis to try to get that opportunity to have the conversation with them.

Hospital funding

Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: My question is to the Premier. Hospitals in London are grappling with another year of deep cuts under this Liberal government. In the past two weeks, we’ve learned that St. Joseph’s and London Health Sciences are both cutting the equivalent of 60 full-time positions. Budgets for supplies are being cut, and 12 crucial transitional care beds will be shut down this October.
People in my community want to know: Why is this Premier forcing hospitals in London to cut patient care, lay off front-line staff and shut down even more beds?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: I know that the member opposite, when she is in conversation with constituents, will remind the constituents that the budget actually puts $1 billion more into health care in this province, including $345 million for hospital funding.
In terms of the number of nurses in this province, in terms of the number of doctors, there have been thousands more nurses and doctors in this province in our term of government: 26,300 more nurses in this province as a result of our policies.
We will continue to support the health care system. We will continue to work with individual health care systems and hospitals around the province, including in London, and make sure that people get the health care that they need in a timely manner.
The Speaker (Hon. Dave Levac): Supplementary?
Ms. Teresa J. Armstrong: When I’m speaking to constituents, they’re reminding me about the health care policies that this Liberal government is causing to fail the services in health care.
Again to the Premier: Hospitals in London have revealed just how deeply this Liberal government is cutting health care. St. Joseph’s has seen effectively a $36.5-million cut to its total budget over the past four years. London Health Sciences says that the year 2016-17 marks the fifth straight year that funding will not keep up with rising costs. And we all know who pays the price for these cuts. It’s patients who wait longer for care they need; it’s families who are forced to deal with more worry and more stress; and it’s the front-line health care workers who don’t deserve a pink slip from this government.
How can this Premier once again slash funding to hospitals in London and expect patient health care not to suffer?
Hon. Kathleen O. Wynne: We recognized in this budget that there was a need to increase funding to hospitals. That’s why there’s a $345-million increase to hospitals in the province.
I had talked with CEOs of hospitals. The Minister of Health and Long-Term Care had talked with hospital CEOs. We understood that there needed to be an increase. That’s why there’s $1 billion more in health care overall and $345 million for hospitals.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare—that’s the Hamilton St. Joseph’s Healthcare—system received $395 million in 2015-16 in base funding, and that’s a 48% increase since 2003. So over that period of time, a 48% increase, and that’s just one hospital across the province. There have been increases, and $345 million in this year’s budget.

"You're a nurse?" that's cool, I wanted to do that when I was a kid. How much do you make?"

Sums up nurses quite clearly:

"You're a nurse?" that's cool, I wanted to do that when I was a kid. How much do you make?" The nurse replied: "HOW MUCH DO I MAKE?" ... I can make holding your hand seem like the most important thing in the world when you're scared... I can make your child breathe when they stop...I can help your father survive a heart attack...I can make myself get up at 5AM to make sure your mother has the medicine she needs to live...I work all day to save the lives of strangers...I make my family wait for dinner until I know your family member is taken care of...I make myself skip lunch so that I can make sure that everything I did for your wife today is charted...I make myself work weekends and holidays because people don't just get sick Monday - Friday. Today, I might save your life. How much do I make? All I know is, I make a difference. Repost not only if you are a nurse or you love a nurse, but most importantly, repost this if you respect them!!

Monday, April 11, 2016


Spring is here – and so is the season to nominate an extraordinary nurse to be recognized during National Nursing Week May 9-13!

There are two categories to nominate an outstanding nurse, as well as a bursary available to nurses for further education. To nominate a nurse for an award or to apply for the bursary, please go to the Nursing Week home page, found on the WRH Intranet under the Programs and Services Directory.


The DAISY Awards recognize nurses for remarkable patient experience. These nurses consistently demonstrate excellence through their clinical expertise and extraordi-nary compassionate care, and they are recognized as outstanding role models in our nursing community. Deadline for submission is April 29.

Nomination forms are also now online for the Jeanne Mance Nursing Excellence Award, which recognizes RNs and RPNs who continually go above and beyond to provide compassionate and professional care to his/her patients, and exemplifies teamwork, compassion, stewardship and respect.
Nominations are open until April 29th. If you have someone in mind you would like to nominate, please visit the following link:


Also, RNs who are taking or considering education courses are also encouraged to submit an application for The Lori Dupont Bursary. This is a $5,000.00 bursary funded by Windsor Regional Hospital and Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare to assist RN staff with continuing education costs. All ONA staff members who are planning to at-tend education courses, conferences and workshops or who are working toward certification in 2016, are invited to submit a bursary application by April 29th. Each successful candidate will be awarded up to $1,000.

The awards and bursaries will be handed out at a joint celebration with Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare at Met campus during Nurses Week, which runs May 9-13.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Health-care cuts are unacceptable, says Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown
Sharon Hill, Windsor Star

Health cuts, such as chopping the number of registered nurses in hospitals, are unacceptable and will hurt local health care, Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown said Saturday in Windsor.
“The reality is they are cutting $20 million from a hospital that can’t afford any more cuts and to say that you can find $20 million in efficiencies is political talk. It’s spin. They are gutting $20 million from a hospital that can’t afford it,” Brown said Saturday after meeting at a downtown hotel with a handful of representatives from the Windsor chapter of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.
Association representatives met with Brown and Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls Saturday afternoon. Windsor Regional Hospital announced in January it was cutting about 120 nurses and replacing 80 registered nurses with registered practical nurses as it tried to deal with a $20-million budget shortfall. Last week the budget shortfall was expected to be about $17 million for 2015-16 and was blamed on losing about $20 million in operational funding from the Ministry of Health over the last few years.
“I want to push back on behalf of the people of Windsor to say that (Ontario Premier) Kathleen Wynne’s health cuts are unacceptable,” Brown told reporters. “She never campaigned two years ago on cutting hospitals and cutting nurses and taking money out of patient care with physicians.”
Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown, right, is joined by Chatham-Kent Essex MPP Rick Nicholls and representatives of the Windsor-Essex chapter of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario at the Best Western in downtown Windsor, Saturday, April 9, 2016.
Ontario Conservative Leader Patrick Brown, right, is joined by Chatham-Kent Essex MPP Rick Nicholls and representatives of the Windsor-Essex chapter of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario at the Best Western in downtown Windsor, Saturday, April 9, 2016. Dax Melmer / Windsor Star
The 120 positions lost at Windsor Regional Hospital are a red flag, he said. The cuts are short-sighted and will end up costing the health-care system more down the road, he said.
“There’s going to be diminishment of health care here.”
Dana Boyd, president of the Windsor Essex chapter of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, said the association has asked for a moratorium across the province to stop registered nurses from being replaced with registered practical nurses who have less training. An online petition at the association’s website ( has collected about 14,000 signatures, she said.
“We want decisions based on the patient. We don’t want decisions based on a budget,” Boyd said.
Registered nurses complete four years of university and many have a master’s degree, she said. Registered practical nurses have a two-year college diploma and are expected to take care of people who are stable. The problem the association sees is that patients in hospitals often have complex health issues and need to be cared for by an RN. If patients are stable enough to be cared for by an RPN, they are often discharged from the hospital.
Boyd said there are places for registered nurses, registered practical nurses and nurse practitioners in the system, but there needs to be a plan that puts patients first.
Brown said he’s tired of the Liberal government’s Band-Aid solutions.
“I’m tired of these shortcuts,” he said. “Whether it’s replacing RNs with RPNs, whether it’s switching nurses from full-time to part-time, whether it’s not using an operating room, not using MRI machines, I’m sick and tired of short-term solutions that are damaging access to health care that we cherish in Ontario.”

Thursday, April 7, 2016

RNs save MONEY!!

RNs save our system money by helping patients avoid complications and costly readmissions.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ONA Efforts Pays Off for Future RNs!

RNs Saves Lives!

Central Bargaining Update

To:            Bargaining Unit Presidents, Hospital Sector

From:        Cathryn Hoy, RN, Chair, Hospital Central Negotiating Team

Date:         March 31, 2016

Re:            Hospital Central Negotiating Team (HCNT) Update

C:              Board of Directors, Local Coordinators, HCNT, Staff

ONA and the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) concluded their interest arbitration hearing before Arbitrator Albertyn and nominees McIntyre and O’Byrne on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. If nothing else, OHA made it very clear they have no respect whatsoever for registered nurses (RNs) and seem intent on seeing our demise. We made it very clear to them that we will never let this happen.

Job security was the most contentious of the issues addressed at the hearing. We argued that the recent raft of RN layoffs, which has seen RPNs parachuted into our jobs, was sufficient "demonstrated need" for contract language that would protect our jobs and stop the bleeding of the RN workforce and the drop in quality patient care. We referred to language in nursing contracts in Alberta and Saskatchewan that maintain current RN staffing levels. We must have the same type of language in Ontario.

At the same time as we are seeing layoffs, agency nurse usage is growing and it too must come to a stop. Our proposals supported these priority objectives.

OHA seems not to understand or care about the value of RNs in our health-care system, particularly in the hospital sector. They want a collective agreement that gives them complete flexibility to remove RNs from the system and speed up the infusion of RPNs into the system – whether they are qualified or not does not seem to be a consideration. At the same time, OHA shows no concern about agency usage and are content to have it continue unabated. All of this has led to unprecedented layoffs of Bargaining Unit nurses. To add insult to injury, OHA further proposes conditions that would eliminate the requirement to provide retirement packages to those who are laid off. Could anything be any more disrespectful to the key people who have been the cornerstone of our health-care system?

The disrespect goes beyond just job security. We argued for proposals to enhance our protections pertaining to violence in the workplace. While pretending to be concerned about the issue, OHA simply opposed our proposals and offered absolutely nothing to address the problems our members are facing. 

They also want language to allow them to post for temporary positions. But the language is so wide open, no permanent job would likely ever be posted again. 

For the very first time in 16 rounds of central bargaining, the parties were unable to agree on the term of the new collective agreement as the employers decided to exercise their option for a one-year contract. Absent agreement on a term, the Hospital Labour Disputes Arbitration Act (HLDAA) does not permit a term longer than one year from the effective date of the arbitration board award. Assuming that the award will be released on or about May of this year, we can expect the new contract to expire in May 2017. 

The OHA position is unexplained, except for their assertion that the Union should get less in a one-year deal than we would if there were a longer term. Throughout the bargaining process, OHA was looking to achieve a three-year agreement. We proposed a two-year agreement, which would give the parties a longer time to live with the agreement and give hospitals some certainty for the 2017 budgeting process. It would also maintain an expiry date that coincided with the end of the fiscal year. Why hospitals would move to throw all of this away makes no sense whatsoever.

At the hearing itself, ONA argued for a proper general wage increase to reflect gains made by RNs employed across Canada, to keep pace with police and fire contracts in Ontario, to keep pace with escalating inflation and to share in the productivity gains enjoyed by our province. We were also looking to standardize the wage grids for Nurse Practitioners (NPs), which are currently very widespread. 

We also made clear our expectation that, based on past contracts, both freely negotiated and arbitrated, we expect to achieve monetary gains in premiums, benefits, vacations and leaves.  OHA, on the other hand, offered virtually nothing – a small wage increase offset by their demand to eliminate the BScN allowance in many agreements. In fact, they offered nothing that would be an improvement for RNs. 

So this is where we are at. We now await arbitration board’s decision. We expect to receive the final and binding award from the board in May. Obviously we are hoping for a favourable result, but there are no guarantees. We will report back to you as soon as we receive the award.

In the interim, get loud and ensure your employer is aware of your disgust for their lack of negotiations at the table for our 50,000 ONA members in the hospital sector.

If you have any questions for the HCNT, please send them to ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud at Linda will see they are brought to my attention.