Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ONA Celebrates Pride 2017- Let's celebrate!

It is Pride month in Ontario, and as a leader in human rights and equity issues, ONA is a leader among unions in celebrating Pride.

Pride events stem from an incident in 1969, when lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning persons rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City.  The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar which catered to an assortment of patrons, but which was popular with the most marginalized people in the gay community. The Stonewall riots are generally considered to be the beginning of the modern gay rights movement, as it was the first time in modern history that a significant body of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) people resisted arrest. Most Pride events take place around June to commemorate the Stonewall riots.

On Sunday, June 25, Pride events will be held in Toronto and other cities to celebrate LGBTQ+ culture. Events will also be held across the province during the summer months.

As nurses and healthcare professionals, we know that LGBTQ+ workers and patients may feel invisible and unable to fully express themselves in their workplaces and their communities. Pride celebrations promote self-affirmation and expression, acceptance, acknowledgement and respect in the community. These activities also give members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, and Two-Spirit communities the opportunity to celebrate diverse histories, experiences, backgrounds and the progress they have made. Pride expresses the efforts of diverse member communities to build a larger community that is inclusive of all.

The Ontario Nurses’ Association is proud to recognize and support the diversity of our members and staff, and to join in the fight against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity. ONA believes in everyone’s right to dignity and equal treatment on the job.

We are committed to making our members’ workplaces safe and respectful for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) people. Please join with ONA to support and show solidarity with our LGBTQ+ members who experience discrimination or harassment and enforce their rights.

Please join us and other allies in celebrating Pride 2017. For a complete list of local Pride celebrations, please visit http://ofl.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017-05-25-OFL-Pride-Events.pdf.

ONA is committed to being an inclusive and equitable organization that recognizes membership diversity. Visit as www.ona.org/pride to learn about the work being done by our Human Rights & Equity Team, contact team members, and to access valuable resources.

June 21 – National Aboriginal Day in Canada - A message from our Provincial President

Tomorrow – June 21 – is National Aboriginal Day in Canada.
This is a significant date, a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and special contributions of First Nations, Inuit and M├ętis peoples in Canada. As nurses and health-care professionals, please join with ONA in marking National Aboriginal Day 2017.
As a leader in human rights and equity issues that impact not just our members, but all members of society, ONA is committed to advocating for access to high-quality health care for all.
We know there are shocking discrepancies in the access to and quality of care of our First Nations peoples, and we know we must continue to advocate for healthcare for all.
We must ensure access to treatment in remote, rural parts of this country. And we must continue to fight to build education programs, and to educate nurses, for people on reserves.
Just two weeks ago, members of ONA joined Canada’s nurses in Calgary for the CFNU Biennial Convention, and issued a public call to close the gaps between non-indigenous and First Nations health care.
As Canada marks the summer solstice – a day of cultural significance for many Aboriginal peoples and communities – ONA encourages all members to pause and celebrate the unique history and the role of First Nations people.
For those who can, attend a National Aboriginal Day event, such as Toronto’s Annual Sunrise Ceremony. For a list of ceremonies, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/celebrate-canada-days/aboriginal-day/activities.html. To learn more about ONA’s work on human rights and equity issues, and for resources including posters for National Aboriginal Day, visit ONA's website at https://www.ona.org/news-posts/national-aboriginal-day-2017/.
Please join with me in celebrating the knowledge and wisdom of our First Nations peoples, and Aboriginal members of ONA, on this special day.
In solidarity,
Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN
ONA President

Monday, June 19, 2017

ONA Win Confirmed: Health Sciences North Health-Care Professionals to Join ONA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                 June 14, 2017

SUDBURY – The Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB) has ruled in favour of the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) regarding the representation of approximately 800 health-care professionals employed by Health Sciences North.

“We are very pleased with the Labour Board’s decision, which puts to rest once and for all the outstanding issues surrounding the vote,” said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “We are thrilled to represent and welcome the Medical Laboratory Technologists, Respiratory Therapists, Kinesiologists, Occupational Therapists, Medical Radiation Technologists, Physiotherapists, Speech Language Pathologists, X-Ray Technicians and over 50 other classifications of health professionals into ONA.”

ONA represents 1,300 registered nurses (RNs) at HSN. Last year, several groups of health-care professionals – about 190 workers in total – voted to join ONA. The employer and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) then requested a Labour Board vote after three workers from North Bay were transferred to HSN. The vote was won by ONA. Our new Bargaining Unit now includes the 190 ONA members, the previous approximately 500 OPSEU members and approximately 80 non-union employees. They are now part of ONA, the largest health-care union in Ontario.

“We are looking forward to working with all members – new and seasoned – to negotiate a new collective agreement and to address their work-related issues,” said Haslam-Stroud.

ONA is the union representing 64,000 registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, family health teams, community health centres, the community, clinics and industry.

Canada's unions celebrate repeal of controversial anti-union legislation

Canadian Labour Congress

June 14, 2017

Canada's unions celebrate repeal of controversial anti-union legislation

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - June 14, 2017) - Canada's unions are celebrating the adoption of Bill C-4, legislation that repeals the former Conservative government's controversial anti-union Bills C-377 and C-525.
"Our affiliates and labour activists across the country have organized and campaigned against these bills from the beginning, and this is their victory to celebrate," said CLC President Hassan Yussuff.
"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau then promised that, if elected, he would repeal these bills and we are happy he has kept that promise," he added.
The former Conservative government argued Bill C-377 was about union transparency, but experts from across the spectrum agreed it was really about red tape that would have forced unions, their suppliers, and other businesses they work with to spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours producing and processing expense reports to be reviewed and filed - all at taxpayer expense.
Bill C-525 would have made it more difficult for workers in federally-regulated workplaces to join a union. It was opposed by labour relations experts, but was nonetheless passed into law by the Conservatives in December 2014.
Bill C-377 was opposed by everyone from the NHL Players' Association to Conservative and Liberal senators, constitutional experts, Canada's Privacy Commissioner, the Canadian Bar Association, the insurance and mutual fund industry, seven provinces, and a long and diverse list of others in the business, financial, professional, legal, labour, and academic communities, private and public, federal and provincial. Despite that opposition, the Conservatives used their Senate majority to pass the bill on June 30, 2015.
"By passing Bill C-4, the federal government has demonstrated it understands the importance of fair labour relations, and the critical role unions play advancing rights for all Canadian workers," said Yussuff.
"I want to thank everyone who opposed these bills over the years, in addition to both former minister MaryAnn Mihychuk for introducing Bill C-4 in January last year, and current labour minister Patty Hajdu for her Senate testimony in support of the bill. We are also grateful to Senator Diane Bellemare for shepherding it through the Red Chamber," he added.

Legislative timeline
December 5, 2011: Bill C-377 is introduced in the House of Commons
March 26, 2011: Order papers are prorogued because federal election is called
May 2, 2011: Conservatives win false majority government
March 14, 2012: The reintroduced Bill C-377 is referred to the House of Commons finance committee.
October 25, 2012: CLC testifies on Bill C-377 at House finance committee
December 12, 2012: Bill C-377 passes in the House and referred to the Senate
June 5, 2013: Bill C-525 is introduced in the House
June 26, 2013: Senate passes Bill C-377 with amendment. The amended bill is sent back to the House for consideration
October 16, 2013: Bill C-525 is reintroduced in the House
October 17, 2013: Conservatives ignore Senate amendment to Bill C-377 and refer it back to the Senate
January 29, 2014: Bill C-525 is referred to HRSDC committee in the House. CLC and PSAC testify in February 2014.
April 9, 2014: Bill C-525 passes in the House and is referred to the Senate
December 16, 2014: Bill C-525 passes in the Senate and receives Royal Assent
June 30, 2015:
Despite opposition by a minority of senators, Bill C-377 passes in the Senate and receives Royal Assent in the House. Reporting requirements would apply to labour organizations as early as December 31, 2015.
October 19, 2015: Liberals win a false majority in the federal election
December 21, 2015: The Minister of National Revenue announces she is waiving the Conservatives' anti-union Bill C-377's reporting requirements for unions and labour trusts.
January 28, 2016: Bill C-4 is introduced in the House.
March 7, 2016: Bill C-4 is referred to the House HUMA committee. The CLC testifies before the committee in May 2016.
October 19, 2016: Bill C-4 passes in the House and is referred to the Senate the next day.
December 15, 2016: Bill C-4 is referred to Senate committee. CLC testifies before the committee on February 1, 2017.
April 18, 2017: Senate passes amendments to Bill C-4, effectively negating important aspects of the Bill, and refers the amended Bill back to the House for consideration.
May 17, 2017: The House overwhelmingly rejects the Senate's amendments to Bill C-4, sending the original back to the Senate.
June 14, 2017: Bill C-4 is passed by the Senate and receives Royal Assent.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

We Can’t “Bear” to Lose Medicare Tour


WHEN:      Friday June 9, 10:30 a.m. 
WHERE:    City Hall – 400 City Hall Square East.
Windsor, Ontario

We Can’t “Bear” to Lose Medicare Tour 

The giant teddy bear is 7-feet tall and 4 1/2 foot-wide: a much-loved and friendly prop to help educate our communities about the threat of health care privatization. Private for-profit clinics are trying to take over services from our local public non-profit hospitals. They charge user fees amounting to hundreds or even thousands of dollars for diagnostic tests and surgeries, in violation of Canada's medicare laws. The private clinics have even launched a court challenge to bring down the laws the protect patients from such user fees. The slogan is We Can't "Bear" to Lose Medicare - is a warning about the threat posed by privatization. We will be holding a media conference in each community and we will have information leaflets available to the public. We will raise funds along the way to cover the cost of the tour and to help the B.C. Health Coalition intervene in the legal challenge brought by the private clinics. All are welcome to join.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Reader Letter: Nurses are not to blame


I worked as a staff registered nurse for 42 years in a general hospital. After reading Evelyn Shreve’s letter about the fact families must care for patients, I felt for all the hard-working nurses she was condemning.
So many nurses go home exhausted after working eight- or 12-hour shifts, sometimes missing breaks or lunch to give continuing care.
Yes, nurses do use computers. This is the mandated new way of charting. Yes, patients sometimes do need the assistance of the family because, over the years, nurses have lost the help of orderlies, IV nurses and supervisors.
The condition of patients over the years has required more care since the less ill are sent home for home care as the number of RNs decreases.
I have worked with many dedicated and caring nurses.
Kathy Suchiu, Belle River

Published on: May 28, 2017 | Last Updated: May 31, 2017 2:41 PM EDT

Report Shows Ontario RN Numbers Sinking Fast: New report shows another decline in RN-to-population ratio

 June 1, 2017

TORONTO – The ratio of registered nurses per capita in Ontario is sinking fast, says the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA), putting the quality of care of the province’s patients at further risk.

A report released today by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) on registered nurses (RNs) in Canada showed that the province of Ontario continues to be in last place in the RN-to-population ratio.

“It is shameful that Ontario, the richest province in the country, continues to risk the care of our patients by not adequately staffing health-care facilities with RNs,” said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “There is no excuse for this province to have so few RNs, especially in the face of the overwhelming evidence that increased RN staffing improves patient outcomes and saves the system money.”

Ontario’s RN ratio per 100,000 population is worse than last year and remains at the bottom of the country for the second year in a row. “For Ontario to reach the average RN staffing ratio in Canada would now require 19,126 additional RNs,” notes Haslam-Stroud. “Ontario had just 703 RNs per 100,000 Ontarians in 2016, compared to the Canadian average of 839. Newfoundland and Labrador, by contrast, employs 1,141 RNs per 100,000 residents.”

Haslam-Stroud says that study after study has shown that for every extra patient added to an RN’s workload, the rate of patient complications and even death rises by 7 per cent. Patient complications include blood clots, bedsores, pneumonia, sepsis and failure to rescue.

“The benefits of RN care are well-studied and well-known,” she says. “There is no excuse for Ontario to be in this dismal position, and I urge Ontarians to demand their MPPs pull us out of the basement and demand quality RN care when they need it. They deserve no less.”

ONA is the union representing 64,000 registered nurses, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 16,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, family health teams, community health centres, the community, clinics and industry.