Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Registered Nurse Severely Beaten: Ontario Nurses’ Association says CAMH continues to fail staff

October 24, 2016
TORONTO – Ontario Nurses’ Association First Vice-President Vicki McKenna, RN, says she is “beyond angry, frustrated and appalled” at the weekend beating of a registered nurse working to provide care at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) here in Toronto.

Early Sunday morning, the registered nurse (RN) was assaulted as she exited a room, punched in the face and then dragged into a locked utility room, where the male patient repeatedly kicked the nurse in the head.

“Our member might have been killed, but for the fact that another staff person witnessed the attack and called for assistance,” says McKenna. “The RN suffered critical injuries and her sight may be permanently affected. This was yet another very serious event in a long line of workplace violence incidents at CAMH, yet this employer continues to display its laissez-fair attitude to workplace safety and its obligation to protect staff.”

In addition to its failure to keep workers safe, CAMH also failed to notify the Ministry of Labour immediately, as is required under the law. McKenna says there is absolutely no excuse for this oversight, especially with the organization’s history of being charged with workplace safety infractions by the Ministry multiple times.

“CAMH is particularly notorious for its delays in taking action to make this workplace safer,” she said. “CAMH needs to address staffing levels to improve safety and come to the table and participate in actions to improve safety for the staff. We cannot continue to sit back and wait for an RN to be murdered before this employer is forced to take action.”

McKenna suggests that rather than simply fining the institution, the Ministry of Labour should hold senior leaders who are responsible for keeping staff safe at CAMH personally accountable for these incidents. She also notes that the Ministry of Labour has failed to include nurses in its presumption of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder legislation, and this incident illustrates that this oversight is reprehensible.

ONA is the union representing 62,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.

Ontario's nurses and patients deserve better


Nurse tending to patient in intensive care. Photo by Getty Images. Martin Barraud / Getty Images
Re: Forced to leave town for work, nurses return to jobs in Detroit, by Brian Cross, Oct. 18.
It is shameful that highly educated and skilled nurses such as Steve and Colleen Bacon are being forced to leave the province for full-time work in Detroit.
Their story is all-too-common these days. As the elected first vice-president of the Ontario Nurses’ Association, I know that our invaluable registered nurses are being poached by other jurisdictions as RN cuts continue in Ontario.
New RN graduates are being left with large student debt and no full-time employment prospects in Ontario, and it’s only natural that they leave to find work environments with employers who value them and the quality patient care they provide.
Southwestern Ontario has seen a raft of RN cuts recently — Bluewater Health in Sarnia cut 45 full-time RN positions and 21 part-time RN positions and Windsor Regional Hospital has cut a total of 169 RN positions.
It’s shameful that inadequate hospital funding and short-sighted hospital decisions are trimming the front lines to balance the bottom line. I sincerely hope that every Ontario-educated RN will soon be able to use their skills for the benefit of their own community’s patients soon.
Both our nurses and our patients deserve no less.
VICKI McKENNA, RN, Ontario Nurses’ Association, Toronto

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Government repeals anti-union legislation

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On Wednesday, Parliament voted to adopt Bill C-4, a government bill that repeals the previous Conservative government’s controversial anti-union bills C-377 and C-525.
Earlier this year, Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk made good on the Liberals’ election promise to repeal the bills.
“We are pleased that the government has done the right thing and overturned bills C-377 and C-525 and we are grateful to Minister Mihychuk for her leadership in repealing this legislation and restoring the balance in Canadian labour relations,” said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.
The bills C-377 and C-525 were ideologically-motivated and designed by the former Conservative government to undermine the ability of unions to advocate for workers and to make it more difficult for Canadians in federally regulated workplaces to join a union, respectively.
“Canadian unions work hard to uphold values like fairness by protecting jobs, promoting health and safety in the workplace, and advocating on behalf of all Canadian workers. These bills were designed to interfere with that work,” said Yussuff.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Truth Hurts: ONA Launches New Wave of Public Awareness Ads

 TORONTO – The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) is again taking its concerns to the public about prolonged registered nurse (RN) cuts in the province’s hospitals to illustrate the significant impact that RN cuts are having on patients.

ONA’s “The Truth Hurts” campaign will hit the television and radio airwaves across the province today, and appear on social media, in print and on transit.

"ONA wants to ensure that our patients and every Ontarian knows what nurses know – cuts to RN care means that patients pay the price,” said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Our hospitals are being starved of appropriate funding, and our patients are suffering as a result. In response to frozen or below the rate of inflation funding, hospitals continue to cut RNs in an effort to balance budgets, increasing patients’ vulnerability to suffering from unnecessary complications and an increased risk of death.”

Haslam-Stroud says that, “ONA's 62,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, nursing students, friends and supporters will be taking local action across the province. Nurses are patient advocates, and will be getting loud about Ontario having the worst RN-to-patient ratio of any province in Canada.”

The ads can be viewed at http://nursesknow.ona.org.

“Nurses know the research has been clear: for every patient added to an average nurse’s workload, our patients have a seven per cent increased risk of suffering morbidity (complications) and mortality (death). There is no good reason to expose our patients to a higher risk of heart attacks, pneumonia, sepsis, blood clots, bedsores and even a risk of failure to save your life,” she said.

"Nurses know that every patient deserves the best quality care possible," Haslam-Stroud says. "ONA and its members will continue to speak up and speak out against cuts to Ontario's RNs. We ask the public to join us by visiting our Nurses Know website and speaking up for health care. Our patients really do come first, and it’s time for the government and employers need to answer the questions – do you want registered nurses caring for patients? The continued cuts to RNs is hurting our patients. The truth hurts.”

ONA is the union representing 62,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.