News


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous posts 2021

Posted  October 15, 2022

 


Posted  October 6, 2022

From the Canadian Labour Congress

Standing up for care workers

I’m so proud that Canada’s unions launched the Care Campaign. It’s about fighting for better working conditions for care workers and quality care services for everyone. Join the campaign or share a message on our Wall of Care, and support those who care for us and our loved ones.


Dear ONA member,

 

On August 31, the Ford government passed new legislation, “Bill 7” that fundamentally changes the way seniors and other vulnerable patients are treated in our health-care system. Under this new legislation, which took effect on September 21, Alternate Level of Care (ALC) patients will be placed in long-term care (LTC) homes that are not of their choosing and without their consent, or will face charges of $400/day if they refuse to move.

 

The government’s initial claim was that this change would free up thousands of hospital beds currently occupied by ALC patients. But now, the Minister of Long-Term Care is saying he hopes to vacate 400 beds by Christmas, and 2,400 beds long-term. The Ontario Health Coalition has pointed out that of the 6,000 ALC patients in Ontario hospitals, only 1,800 are waiting for a LTC bed.

 

Once again, the Ford government is looking for short-cuts instead of addressing the real staffing crisis in our public health-care system. ONA continues to call on this government to repeal Bill 124, compensate nurses fairly, and increase staffing so that there are enough nurses and health-care professionals to provide the care Ontarians need.

 

Bill 7 will impact ONA members working in home and community care, in long-term care, and in hospitals. Here’s what you need to know.

The Ford Conservatives Rushed This Legislation Despite Widespread Opposition
This bill was rushed through the legislature with very limited debate, bypassing the regular Committee hearing process. This meant that ONA, other unions, and advocacy groups had no opportunity to provide input on the Bill or the regulations before they took effect.

 

Despite the Ford government’s tactics, ONA spoke out loudly against this legislation and raised our concerns. Read our statement here.

 

You can also read the powerful arguments against this bill from the Ontario Health Coalition, of which ONA is a member, here.

What Bill 7 Means for You and Your Patients

Under this legislation, patient consent is no longer required during the process of being evaluated for and/or applying to a long-term care bed. Here’s what this means in practice:

 

  • Care Coordinators will be tasked with assessing patients without the patient’s consent, and placing those patients on the waitlists for long-term care homes without consent
  • Patients already waiting for LTC homes of their choice must be placed on additional lists for a Short-Waitlist Home or idle bed home, regardless of their preferences or consent
  • Patients can be placed on lists for homes up to 70km away from their loved ones, and up to 150km away in the North. In fact, if there are no beds within 150km in the North, the Care Coordinator is directed to place the patient on the next nearest list
  • Patients who refuse to move to a long-term care home through this process will be charged $400 per day that they remain in the hospital

Together, these actions remove agency from vulnerable patients, many of whom are in the last stages of their lives. This bill forces vulnerable seniors and patients with disabilities or diverse mental health needs to choose between bankruptcy or moving to a home they have not selected, possibly hours away from their loved ones. We all know this is inhumane and cruel.

 

We know that for many of you, being directed by your government and employers to participate in this process adds moral injury at a time when you are already burnt-out and overburdened. This is unacceptable.  

How ONA is Taking Action
Despite Premier Ford’s efforts to push this legislation through without any debate or consultation, ONA has pushed back at every step.

 

In addition to our statement and media interviews, we have taken out ads in the Toronto Star and Hospital News to call attention to this unjust and cruel law.

Share to Facebook
We are also reaching out to the College of Nurses and other regulatory colleges to provide clarity and direction for Care Coordinators, as the colleges are all very clear about the central and fundamental importance of consent in every aspect of patient care.

 

Affected ONA members are encouraged to share your concerns with us, through your Bargaining Unit Presidents or anonymously here. Please share your stories about how this law is impacting you and your patients.

Share Your Story
For more information, please visit our web page dedicated to the impacts of Bill 7 and how ONA is opposing this law: https://www.ona.org/about-bill-7/
Learn More
In solidarity,

 

Cathryn Hoy, RN

Provincial President

Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada


Posted  September 12, 2022

Ontario Nurses’ Association Court Challenge to Bill 124 Begins

TORONTO, ON, September 12, 2022 – After filing a Charter challenge of the Ford government’s wage-suppression legislation – Bill 124 – the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is arguing its case for fairness for nurses at Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice today.

Passed by the Ford government in 2019, Bill 124 imposes a hard cap of 1% per year to wages and benefits for nurses and other health care professionals for a three-year period.

“ONA will be arguing in Court that Bill 124 violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by interfering with the rights of nurses and health-care professionals to freely negotiate a contract,” says ONA President Cathryn Hoy, RN. “The government’s draconian wage cap is out of touch with the grave nursing crisis and high demand of health-care professionals during one of the worst pandemics of the last century. The Bill tramples on our members’ rights and has perpetuated discrimination on the grounds of sex against our predominantly female profession – which we say is contrary to the Charter.”

Full article available here


Coming Soon- 2022 Have Your Say Bargaining Survey

Posted  September 7, 2022

The 2022 “Have Your Say” bargaining survey will open in early October.

This anonymous survey is an opportunity for all ONA members to tell us about their bargaining priorities, as we begin to plan for the next round of negotiations in Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Public Health Units, Home & Community Care Support Services, Home Care Providers, Homes for the Aged, Industry and Clinics, and Community Health Centres or Family Health Teams.

Check back here for updates and links to the survey once it opens!


Posted  July 29, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association

Dear ONA member,

This year on August 1, Emancipation Day, the day designated by Canada’s House of Commons to commemorate the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, ONA’s Anti-Racism Member Advisory Team alongside ONA’s Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression (ARAO) Working Group have launched a series of resources to continue to bring awareness to current issues impacting members of Indigenous, Black, Racialized, and historically marginalized communities.

One of the initiatives is the creation of the ONA ARAO webpage. The webpage will be home to various ONA ARAO resources, beginning with:

  1. ONA’s Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression Action Plan summary(English) (French).
  2. A shareable infographic of the Key Priorities of ONA’s Action Plan, which we encourage you to print and share with other members.
  3. An Introduction to ONA’s ARAO Journey Education Web Series – Accessible to members on ONA’s eLearning Platform

We are excited to launch our Action Plan and look forward to continuing to implement the various priorities over the next 4 years!

Please check out ONA’s ARAO webpage for any new updates at www.ona.org/arao.

 

In solidarity,

Dawn Armstrong, RN
Human Rights and Equity Portfolio
Region 1 Vice-President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  July 27, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association

With multiple emergency departments, urgent care centres and hospital units closing across the province and staffing shortages continuing to plague our health-care system, ONA believes that Premier Ford must act NOW to help our patients, residents and clients get the care that they need.

It has been almost two months since Premier Ford was re-elected with a second majority government and ONA is continuing to call for respect, safe staffing, safe working conditions, fairness and public funding for public health care.

Every single day we hear of disastrous situations that negatively impact patient care. For instance, in a Cardiology Critical Care Unit at a large hospital, regular staffing consists of between nine and 10 registered nurses. During one shift in this unit recently, there were just five RNs, one junior RN and three who were training to become critical care nurses. An agency nurse was scheduled to work, but when she saw that she had to care for three patients at a time, she went home early. During this particular shift, there was a Code Blue, a vented unstable patient, a patient fell, and a patient had a stroke. All within a time span of one 11.25-hour shift.

One RN cannot care for six critical care patients.

It’s time for Premier Ford to act.

ONA is here and we have the solutions. The Premier committed to meet with us after he appointed his cabinet. It has now been six weeks and we are continuing to call for the Premier to come to the table.

Some of our solutions include:

  1. Repealing Bill 124;
  2. Retaining nurses by providing mental health supports, RPN-to-RN bridging programs, funding the late career initiative, addressing the use of high-cost staffing agencies and ensuring safe and healthy workplaces for all;
  3. Recruiting nurses by creating more full-time RN positions.

These solutions, and many others, can pave the way to stabilizing our public health-care system and are worth the investment. The recently released Financial Accountability Office report notes that the government is underfunding health services, despite this crisis situation, nurses working short shift after shift, and staffing collapse.

But Premier Ford must be willing to come to the table to hear our stories and commit to solutions.

We’ve been meeting with Opposition politicians at both the provincial and federal levels. The Ontario NDP has announced its critic line-up. We welcomed back MPP France Gélinas, who is continuing in her role as the Official Opposition Health Critic. Earlier this month, Region 1 Vice-President, Dawn Armstrong, met with Gélinas to talk about ways that we can continue to hold the government accountable and push them to address the nursing shortage in the north.

Additionally, DJ Sanderson, Region 3 Vice-President, met with federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. Singh expressed that the nursing shortage is top of mind for everyone and that they are continuing to pressure the federal government for an immediate injection of funds to the provinces to address the health-care crisis, as well as to negotiate with the premiers a long-term plan to ensure sustainable health-care funding and address the health human resources crisis. Shortly after, the Federal government announced a $2 billion top up to the Canada Health Transfer, with $775,500,000 of that going to Ontario alone.

Our collective action works but we cannot ease up. We need to ensure sustainable funding that is used for public health care, not private; to support you, not tax cuts and freebies; to give quality care to our patients, residents and clients, not payouts to shareholders and business people who take short cuts.

Together, we will create the public health-care system that we all know is possible and that we all deserve.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President

    NEWS YOU CAN USE          
Join ONA for a Queen’s Park Rally on Monday, August 8!

The Ontario Legislature will be back in session and, together with the Ontario Federation of Labour, ONA members and colleagues will be at Queen’s Park at noon to demand action! We want them to hear us loud and clear: We demand a $20 minimum wage; 10 paid sick days; well-funded public services, affordability, and better access to a union. For more information and to register, click here.

Missed the June Provincial Coordinators Meeting?

Not to worry. Download and read the PCM Highlights here. Be sure to check out ONA’s excellent video summary here.

 
Hot off the Press: The summer edition of Front Lines is now available! Download it now.
In this issue:-“We were everywhere” With so much at stake, ONA and our members gave it our all in the lead-up to the provincial election. What happens now?-Nursing Week 2022: Members Explain “Why I Fight”-“We all play a part:” ONA Releases Anti-Racism, Anti-Oppression Action Plan.-Awards, wins and so much more!
2022 By-Election for Region 3 Vice-President
The cut-off for receipt of nominations for Region 3 Vice-President has passed. The names of the nominees are noted here. The Ticket of Nominations along with voting information including personal pin numbers will be mailed to Region 3 members during the week of August 2. Voting will commence upon receipt of the Ticket of Nominations and conclude at 4 p.m. EST on August 24, 2022.
Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada


Posted  July 14, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
A message from First Vice-President Angela Preocanin

I think we can all agree that professional responsibility and workload issues have increased substantially over the past two-plus years. As front-line nurses and health professionals, you need knowledge and best practices to advocate for quality patient care and safe practice conditions.

Although ONA has several tools available for professional practice, expanding the resources and the ways in which members receive information is necessary.

As such, we are excited to launch Practice Matters, ONA’s tailored professional practice e-newsletter. This quarterly newsletter will address specific practice issues, solutions and encourage knowledge exchange among members, activists and peers. We have a lot to say about professional practice including education and webinars, workplace wins we can learn from, topical tips for front-line members, and more.

I hope you will enjoy this first edition of Practice Matters. I’d love to hear your feedback and what you’d like to see in the next issue. Please drop me a line at enews@ona.org and tell me what you think.

In solidarity,

Angela Preocanin, RN
First Vice-President
Professional Practice Portfolio

Many educational opportunities for you! 📚

Professional practice concerns? Sign up for our webinars: Our popular Ask A Specialist webinars are free for all members. Our professional practice specialists talk about process and will answer your questions. Click here for the schedule and keep on the lookout for an email from ONA with links to register.

New resources – check them out! ⬇️

*Updated* Professional Responsibility and Workload Process Guide: Download the latest version of this must-have guide that addresses professional practice issues in all sectors. Learn about resolving issues, how to communicate among your members, and why documenting is so important. Click here to download the guide.

Access Professional Responsibility Workload Report Forms here: Make sure you’re using the most up-to-date forms when reporting workload issues. Click here to visit the professional practice section of the website which houses these important tools.

MAJOR WIN: PERTH COMMUNITY CARE CENTRE

A team composed of front-line nurses, Labour Relations Officers, Professional Practice Specialists and others who banded together to work for its members achieved a phenomenal win for a group of members working in long-term care. Recently, this amazing team attained one of its best professional practice wins on behalf of residents at Perth Community Care Centre, a for-profit long-term care home.

Home overwhelmed with staff shortages

“This workplace was plagued with chronic staff shortages, insufficient baseline hours, poor leadership and communication, equipment and supply issues and a whole host of other problems,” says Professional Practice Specialist Andrea Fagan. “Resolving any of these issues required a major ONA push together. Most importantly were the nurses, who completed an astoundingly fulsome 345 Professional Responsibility Workload Report Forms dating back to 2017.”

Perth’s Bargaining Unit President Darlene Lawlor was squarely in the members’ corner, encouraging her members to complete the forms so the employer would take notice of the dreadful conditions for their residents. “Darlene was instrumental in building up our case for more nursing staff, more hours, and more supports for our residents,” notes Fagan. “Without her diligence, we would not have received this amazing win.”

Click here to continue to read about this amazing win.


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  July 7, 2022

 Violence must not be tolerated in Health Care.

A poll by Oracle Research for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) makes it clear that preserving and sustaining Canada’s public health care system must include funding to boost staffing so no one works alone, and to increase beds to make a dent in ending hallway care.

“Under the heavy workloads, low staffing, and violence risks, many RPNs, PSWS, porters, cleaners, clerical hospital staff are sadly making the choice to leave their hospital jobs.”

Full article available here


Posted  June 28, 2022

Dear ONA member,

The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is updating you on the litigation strategy for mandatory vaccination policies, which require that members either receive the vaccine or face disciplinary consequences such as a suspension/indefinite leave of absence and/or termination with no reasonable alternatives including regular testing, strict adherence to personal protective equipment, and other measures.

While ONA recommends health-care workers receive the vaccine, it does not support disciplining or terminating members for exercising their right to voluntary and informed consent. There could be medical, religious, or other reasons why a member is unable to receive the vaccine.

ONA has filed grievances against over 120 employers across the province on behalf of impacted members in all sectors of the health-care system.

The majority of these grievances have been processed through the grievance procedure, where our Bargaining Unit Leaders and Servicing LROs have advocated that our members be reinstated immediately. ONA has successfully reinstated members at the Region of Durham, members who were denied creed exemptions at hospitals, and rescinded a mandatory vaccination policy at a Toronto area hospital. ONA has also won a landmark human rights case as explained below.

Despite ONA’s advocacy, most employers are adamant about maintaining their “vaccinate or discipline/terminate policies” in a health care environment and are also issuing blanket denials of medical and religious exemptions. ONA is responding on a provincial level and proceeding forward to arbitration for a subgroup of these grievances first, while holding other grievances in abeyance pending the outcome of these lead cases, as follows:

  • ONA is in the process of litigating upwards of 30 grievances involving employers who have denied our members human rights exemptions based on creed or medical grounds requested by our members.
  • ONA is also challenging employer policies mandating vaccinations with the unreasonable consequence of being suspended/placed on a leave of absence and terminated.
  • We have identified “lead” cases in each sector as listed below. This means we will select a few cases to proceed to litigation first in various sectors of the health-care system, hold other cases in abeyance pending decisions being released, and ask that other employers follow the outcome of these lead cases:

1.          Home Care: Victorian Order of Nurses Brant

2.          Home and Care Community Support Services: Erie St. Claire HCCSS

3.          Hospitals: Orillia Soldiers Memorial Hospital, Niagara Health, and Quinte Health Care Corporation

The provincial approach employed by ONA means that Locals are taking a consistent and coordinated approach under the guidance of the provincial office.

It takes time for arbitration cases to be scheduled and litigated. These decisions will be released gradually and not all at the same time.

If you have further questions about the status of your grievance, please connect with your Bargaining Unit President and LRO.

 

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President

Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada


Posted  June 15, 2022

 

Welcome to Pride month, a time to commemorate with the LGBTQI2S community and our members, colleagues, and friends

Pride celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQI2S) communities in all their diversity. It is an important opportunity to promote self-affirmation and expression, acceptance, acknowledgment, and respect for diversity of sexual orientation and gender identity.

I am proud of ONA’s ongoing commitment to building workplaces that are safe and respectful for all regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, creed, disability, and more. We can all play a part by learning more and growing our understanding of the challenges, discrimination, and stigma that many LGBTQI2S people still face.

Join ONA and celebrate Pride month. ONA has produced Pride posters and social media shareables. Please share these resources widely. Visit our Pride pageoften, as we will update the page with more resources and event information, as it is available.

Attend Toronto Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26!

We have been busy planning for the first in-person Pride Parade since the pandemic began. ONA’s Theme: Together in Person. Together in Pride! #OutAgain

Pride Toronto has made some changes this year to keep the parade running smoothly. They have capped the number of marchers per delegation to 100 people maximum.

 

If you are planning to attend, please email us! There will be limited spaces (between 12-15) on our float/truck for members who are unable to walk the route and want to participate. To secure your spot walking or on our truck, email Leanne Cooke at leannec@ona.org.

This year, the Toronto Pride parade begins at 2 p.m. at the corner of Church and Bloor Streets and will finish at the corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets. The route is about two kms in total. Once you register with Leanne, you will receive additional details closer to the day of the parade. Rain or shine, it will be a fabulous day!

In solidarity,

Dawn Armstrong, RN
Region 1 Vice-President
Human Rights and Equity Portfolio


Posted  June 3, 2022

Dear ONA member,

The votes are counted and Ontario has a new Ford majority government. I know many of you will share my disappointment and my frustration.

While this is not the outcome that we want or need, and the result is not in the best interest of patients, residents and clients, I am truly proud of all of the support nurses and health professionals received leading up to the election.

Make no mistake: we helped to change the narrative during this election!

Virtually every day, health-care issues and the nursing shortage were featured in newspapers, discussed on radio talk shows, and highlighted on long-form TV news programs. On social media, ONA was front-and-centre with our appeals for Ontarians to vote for public health care. In fact, ONA was trending on Twitter during the leaders’ debate in the election cycle.

On the eve of the election, polling showed that health care was the top ranked issue for voters.

This phenomenal attention is credited to you, our members.

I am so inspired by the momentum built by you throughout this election, as we fought together for a better, stronger, public health-care system. Our Nurses Vote campaign – in which 20 dedicated and passionate front-line members led actions to spur the vote – exceeded our high expectations. They called and texted more than 43,000 members and had thousands of meaningful conversations about the importance of voting for our shared priorities.

Our actions during this election are just the beginning. ONA will not back down. We will continue to fight for our patients, residents and clients – and for all Ontarians.

We will not give up in our efforts to overturn Bill 124, Ford’s unfair wage-suppression legislation that has seriously worsened the nursing shortage.

We will continue to hold this new government accountable to quickly address the crisis in nursing that is becoming worse every day. Nurses have the knowledge and expertise to help this government do just that.

And we will continue to make sure that our collective voices are heard loud and clear at Queen’s Park, demanding improvements in our public health-care system now and into the future.

We will continue to build our power, to rally, lobby and demand what is right and fair! Together, we have the power and the inspiration to move forward. Doug Ford may have won the re-election, but he will continue to have to face the power of you, our dedicated members, and answer to nurses and health professionals. We will never give up fighting for Ontario’s public health care — that is my promise to you.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President

Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada


Posted  May 9, 2022

Happy Nursing Week!

This Nursing Week, May 9-15, will be our third since the outbreak of the pandemic. While our communities may be coming to terms with living with COVID-19, it is unlikely we will easily let go of the burnout and trauma we have experienced since the outbreak began in 2020. We have had to learn all over again the lessons about how to keep safe and healthy in our workplaces.

Nursing Week is a time of celebration, yet this year we are sending a message of support and unity as we honour you who continue to fight on the front lines every day.

You deserve to be celebrated for your work, but more importantly, you deserve the respect, fairness and support you have too often been denied throughout this pandemic. Our theme this year reflects this reality: Dedicated to Care. Fighting for Change. | Les soins sont notre mission. Le changement est notre combat.

This is why we are encouraging you to tell your stories via social media during Nursing Week this year. Using the hashtag #WhyIFight, you are invited to share why you continue to advocate on behalf of their patients, residents and clients. It is important for nurses to have a voice, to share their experiences and tell their stories, and it is an opportunity for the public to learn about your reality. Stories shared on social media will be entered in a draw to win a prize.

Please take some time during Nursing Week to reflect on your great accomplishments and dedication to your patients, residents and clients. You all deserve it. Once again, happy nursing week.

In solidarity,

 

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Posted  April 30 , 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

On April 14, the Ford PCs passed legislation “Bill 106” that claims to be about pandemic preparedness, but which will actually takes away your bargaining rights and undermines pay equity for women-dominated nurses and health-care professionals. Bill 106 is “omnibus” legislation – meaning instead of just doing one thing, the bill crams together a wide range of changes and tries to pass them all together.

The Ford PCs rammed Bill 106 through Queen’s Park and limited the opportunity for public consultation and input. Just two weeks after it was introduced, the Bill was passed without any changes.

Sadly, this disrespectful attitude is what we’ve come to expect from Premier Ford and his Ministers. Below, we break down what you need to know about how Bill 106 impacts you, and what ONA is doing to fight back.

How Bill 106 Impacts You

  • Pay Equity: This Bill could make pandemic pay permanent for some health-care workers, but would do so at the expense of court-won pay equity compensation for ONA members. That means that the government would be able to count any wage increases resulting from Bill 106 as payment required by pay equity laws and the Supreme Court in ONA’s pay equity case, which require equal pay for equal work.

Bill 106 overrides the Pay Equity Act, which guarantees that general wage increases are not pay equity adjustments and the two must be treated separately. Bill 106 reverses this long-cherished principle. Bill 106 wrongly counts enhanced compensation towards achieving or maintaining pay equity, when this compensation increase should be on top of pay equity. This is fundamentally unfair, and undermines hard-fought pay equity rights for ONA members.

Not only that, but the Bill doesn’t even say who will be getting the pay bump. The details are left to regulations – which are simply adopted by government and never voted on in the legislature. There is no equity or transparency.

Passing this legislation the same week as Equal Pay Day (April 12, 2022) – a day meant to recognize how much more work there is to do to close the gender gap – just adds insult to injury.

  • Collective Bargaining: Bill 106 would let the government legislate wage increases for nurses and health-care professionals as it sees fit – without input or negotiation from your union on your behalf. This means instead of a fair, equitable process for the wage increases ONA members deserve, the Ford government wants to take away your rights to collectively bargain a fair deal through your union and instead pick and choose who gets a raise and who doesn’t. We’ve already seen this story with pandemic pay, so-called “retention payments” and sexist carve-outs of professions in Bill 124. We don’t need the government to play favourites, we need them to respect your collective bargaining rights and negotiate in good faith.
  • Wage Suppression: Bill 106 does not address the key issue for our members of repealing Bill 124. Nurses and health-care professionals are underpaid, overworked, under-resourced and burnt out. We need government to repeal Bill 124 and stop suppressing your wages so more staff can be recruited and retained.

How ONA is Fighting Back

Despite Premier Ford’s decision to rush this Bill through the legislature, ONA has pushed back at every step. We made a formal submission outlining our concerns and recommendations for how the Bill can be improved. Read our submission here. I also spoke at the Committee to share our concerns with MPPs. Watch my comments here.

On April 7, I participated in a press conference with the Equal Pay Coalition calling attention to this unfair legislation. Watch the video here.

We need to defeat the Ford PCs and elect a government that will repeal Bill 124, retain and recruit more nurses, and invest in public health care. So much is at stake on June 2.

Visit our campaign page here, download our social images and post them on your social media feeds. The more we can spread the word about voting for public health care, the better the impact we will have on June 2.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  April 28 , 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member

Premier Doug Ford released his election “budget” late this afternoon, and it was nothing more than bumper-sticker promises – or shall I say, license plate sticker schemes.

The budget – which by the way, will not be approved until after the election – provides nothing meaningful to address one of ONA’s main concerns that affect all Ontarians: critical nursing and health-care professional shortages. Most of the announcements in the budget are not new, and there is no substantive plan to increase the health-care staffing and resources that are needed to ensure Ontarians have access to the care they need today and into the future.

There were some dollars thrown at the physical rebuilding of hospitals, but that will be wasted without sound strategies to retain and attract nurses to staff the new beds.

In our pre-budget submission, we called for a number of measures to stabilize the health-care system, including the urgent need to improve the working conditions of nurses and health-care professionals and maximize retention of existing workers. Ford ignored our thoughtful solutions and instead continued to disrespect us as nurses and health-care professionals.

Overall, I give this “budget” a solid F, meaning Ford Failed.

Take a look at our media release here and the government budget document here.

Perhaps our best approach to this budget will come to each of us on June 2, when we can elect a new provincial government that will finally listen and respect nurses and health-care professionals.

In Solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  April 28, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
 

The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) has been a leader in advocating for improvements in workplace health and safety. From legislative changes to workplace policy updates, ONA is proud to be a positive part of health and safety advocacy.

Each year on April 28, ONA members, staff and colleagues commemorate those who have been injured, made ill or killed at work. We honour ONA members, including Brian Beattie, who died due to COVID-19; our member who passed away in a work-related car accident; Nelia Laroza and Tecla Lin who died after contracting SARS; and Lori Dupont, who was murdered while working at a Windsor hospital. The list of members who have passed away due to work-related issues sadly continues to grow.

The Day of Mourning is all the more significant given the sixth wave of COVID-19. Our members are continuing to be stretched and are facing many health and safety issues, including lack of and blocked access to proper PPE and N95 respirators, unsafe workloads, workplace violence and so much more. Access to N95 respirators continues to be crucial for the safety of health-care workers; the high transmissibility of COVID continues to put workers at great risk.

Mental health injuries

COVID-19 has also brought on stress, higher job demands, burnout, lower job control, moral injury – all factors that contribute to mental health concerns. These circumstances have increased the risk of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, substance misuse and even suicide among nurses and health-care professionals.

Seven in 10 health-care workers reported worsening mental health during the pandemic, according to a Statistics Canada survey.

The impact the pandemic has had on health-care workers’ mental health is deeply concerning and action must be taken immediately to stop these disturbing trends. The government, employers, unions and associations must work together to instill early intervention and supports.

Please pause with ONA to remember our colleagues and all those who have suffered, and join ONA in vowing to ensure that these injuries, illnesses and deaths do not continue.

There are several Day of Mourning events planned across Ontario. Please visit this page to find the most up-to-date locations and times.


In other OHS news: bits and bytes

Registration for our May Health and Safety Caucuses now open!

With sessions held virtually by Zoom, ONA’s popular health and safety caucuseswill provide important information about pandemic planning and respiratory protection.

Attendees will learn how to ensure pandemic plans are in place and updated annually in consultation with the Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC), how to ensure respiratory protection programs are in place and updated annually, how ONA has used the grievance process for health and safety issues, and so much more.

Regions and dates are:

Region 1 – Friday, May 20
Region 2 – Monday, May 16
Region 3 – Thursday, May 26
Region 4 – Tuesday, May 3
Region 5 – Wednesday, May 18

Click here to register now.

New ONA Tip Sheet – Staying Safe At Work: What To Do When You See A Safety Hazard. ONA’s Health and Safety Team has recently released a new tip sheet for front-line members designed to support them to address safety hazards at work. You can find this tip sheet here.

Read now: Updated Section 21 Pandemic Guidance Note: The Section 21 Committee for Health Care gets its name from the section of the Occupational Health and Safety Act that authorizes the committee to meet and provide advice to the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development (MLTSD). The intent of this updated Guidance Note is to assist workplace parties in sharing best practices and the updated pandemic guidance note will provide a useful reference when reviewing or responding to employer pandemic policies. Read the updated Guidance Note here.

Changes to Bill 88, Schedule 4 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act: The changes focus on Part IX of the Act, Offences and Penalties. The maximum fine has increased from $100,000 to $1,500,000 for directors or officers of corporations and to $500,000 for other individuals. A list of aggravating factors to be considered in determining a penalty is also added and the limitation period for instituting a prosecution is extended from one year to two years. Click here to read more.

Mental Health Week is May 2-8: The Canadian Mental Health Association is highlighting mental health across the country during Mental Health Week, May 2-8. Its theme is #GetReal, which focuses on how to help those who may be struggling with mental health issues. It’s about being ready to listen and to acknowledge. Click here for more information on this important week.

Have a Health and Safety Concern at your workplace? Contact your Bargaining Unit President or your ONA Health and Safety rep. If you do not know who your Bargaining Unit President is, you can contact them through ONA’s website at the following link: https://www.ona.org/find-my-bargaining-unit-president/. To find the names of your Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) members, look for a posting in your workplace. They are often found on the health and safety board. Section 9(32) of OHSA requires employers to post the names and work locations of JHSC members in a conspicuous location.


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  April 27, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association

Dear ONA member,

We are days away from Nursing Week – May 9 to 15 – and ONA is taking a bit of a different approach this year – we’re focusing on advocacy.

Although we will always celebrate Nursing Week and honour the vital role you play in our health-care system, as nurses, we must also advocate for our patients, residents and clients – and for our profession.

The dedication you show and the exemplary care you provide every day is worth celebrating – but the harsh realities you face most definitely are not. As the pandemic pushes past the two-year mark, you are beyond exhausted, regressive legislation has devalued the profession and stripped away your rights, sound health and safety protocols are still not a reality in many of our workplaces, and incidents of violence continue to escalate.

ONA members wanted us to take a stronger stance this Nursing Week because none of this can continue. The theme of the week, Dedicated to Care. Fighting for Change strikes a much-needed balance.

We encourage you to download and post ONA’s Nursing Week shareables and bilingual Nursing Week poster. The poster can be posted in appropriate locations in your workplace, with the permission of your employer.

I want you to know ONA stands with each one of you as you cope with the seemingly never-ending stresses and uncertainty of COVID-19 in your workplaces. As we work through these challenging times, you continue to provide dedicated care to your patients, residents and clients. And, while it may not be an optimal time to celebrate, the Board of Directors and I encourage you to take this time to recognize yourself and each other for the quality and steadfast care that you provide every day.

We’d love for you to get involved in Nursing Week. Share your stories, messages and Nursing Week greetings on social media using the hashtag #WhyIFight. Everyone who posts a story using that hashtag will be entered into a draw to win a prize.

Stay tuned for more information about Nursing Week and how ONA is advocating on behalf of you and your patients, residents and clients. We all must come together to fight for change, as our Nursing Week theme underscores.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
President


News You Can Use


Join us on May 1 for an awesome province-wide Day of Action!

Join nurses and health-care professionals and our labour partners on May 1 to celebrate the gains we have made, to fight to protect public health care and to demand the repeal of Bill 124. Let’s be seen and heard! Visit our website here for more information and to register for our Toronto event, and click here to see the Ontario Federation of Labour event listings across the province.

Quick Bits and Bytes on ONA.org:

  • Join us as we protest in St. Catharines on May 12 to demand that Bill 124 be repealed! Let’s make sure the Ford Conservatives know this is an election issue for nurses, health-care professionals, and patients. Click here for more information, including how to register.
  • Register now for the June Provincial Coordinators Meeting: To be held at Caesars Windsor from June 14 to 16, registration is now open. The meeting will be available in-person and virtually. Given that the occupancy caps for meeting spaces have been lifted by the province, ONA will employ distanced seating for the number of guests that register for in-person. ONA will continue to follow public health guidelines should the situation shift. Please register here: https://www.multisoftevents.com/ONAPCM22/Be sure to register ASAP as the cut-off date to book rooms is Friday, May 13.
  • Canadian Mental Health Week is from May 2-8: CMHA Mental Health Week is a time for communities, schools and workplaces to rally together to protect and promote mental health. Click here for more information about this special week.
  • Councils vote to support nurses and health-care professionals: The Township Council of Malahide is just one of several Ontario municipalities that has called on the Ontario government to recognize the severity of the health human resources crisis in Ontario and take urgent action to recruit and retain skilled, experienced nurses and health-care professionals by repealing Bill 124. More info here.

Register now for our spring health and safety caucus

Our popular caucusesthis year focus on pandemic planning and respiratory protection. The caucus will provide important information, actions and tips on how to plan for the unexpected.

Regions and dates are:

Region 1 – Friday, May 20
Region 2 – Monday, May 16
Region 3 – Thursday, May 26
Region 4 – Tuesday, May 3
Region 5 – Wednesday, May 18

Click here to register now for the caucus in your region.


 


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram



Posted  April 25, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

This Thursday, April 28 is the Day of Mourning, a day when ONA and other organizations acknowledge and remember workers who have been killed, injured, or made ill at work.

We honour and remember ONA members who have died over the years as a result of their work. And we recommit to fighting for members’ health and safety at the government, employer and Bargaining Unit levels. Workplace injuries, deaths and illnesses are preventable.

The Day of Mourning is all the more significant given the sixth wave of COVID-19. Our members are continuing to be stretched and are facing many health and safety issues, including lack of and blocked access to proper PPE and N95 respirators, unsafe workloads, workplace violence and so much more.

Mental health injuries

COVID-19 has also brought on stress, higher job demands, burnout, lower job control, moral injury – all factors that contribute to mental health concerns. These circumstances have increased the risk of PTSD, depression, substance misuse and even suicide among nurses and health-care professionals.

Seven in 10 health-care workers reported worsening mental health during the pandemic, according to a Statistics Canada survey.

The impact the pandemic has had on health-care workers’ mental health is deeply concerning and action must be taken immediately to stop these disturbing trends. The government, employers, unions and associations must work together to instill early intervention and supports.

But the most important thing we can do is to fix the conditions that are contributing to this situation in the first place. End chronic understaffing that is putting incredible pressure on workers to care for more and more patients with shrinking supports.

There is so much that must be done to make our workplaces safe and healthy. The threats to mental health are far-reaching and affect literally thousands who have been traumatized during the pandemic.

I hope you are able to take a bit of time this week to honour all workers. There are several events taking place, so please visit our webpage to see the list and consider participating.

ONA’s posters and social media shareables are on this page, so please download the items and share them on social media.

If you are struggling with mental illness, anxiety or burnout, please reach out to your health-care provider for help. Free, confidential virtual support is also available 24/7 through Wellness Together Canada.

Stay safe and be well,

Alan Warrington, RN BScN
Region 5 Vice-President
Occupational Health and Safety Portfolio


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  March 31, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

The Ford government has finally released details regarding the nurse “retention” payment, which is nowhere near what Premier Ford originally informed ONA last month.

This scheme provides a schedule of two separate payments through employers, pro-rated payments for part-time and casual nurses and specific criteria for nurses who are on leaves.

Time and again, ONA continued to press the Premier to recognize the work of all health-care professionals who are integral to our health-care system, but he flatly refused.

Click here to download the government’s Program Guide for the Temporary Retention Incentive for Nurses

The guide states that all nurse classifications including Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses are eligible. Nurses in all publicly funded organizations including hospitals, home and community care, long-term care, licensed retirement homes, public health, mental health and addictions, other community services, corrections, labs/diagnostics, telehealth/tele-advisory are eligible.

Nurses that will not qualify include those in private duty nursing, those employed by schools/school boards/post-secondary institutions and Nursing Executives such as Chief Nursing Executives. Additionally, hours worked for Temporary Staffing Agencies are not eligible.

Please carefully review the government’s program guide for additional details and clarity regarding eligibility. There are many fine-print details that are within the guide that may impact your eligibility, so please carefully review it.

The payments will be administered by employers, so any questions and/or clarifications should be directed to employers.

If there are discrepancies with the payment, please contact the union.

This Ford government “plan” is insufficient to address the issues driving nurses away, which harms patient, resident and client care. We, along with our labour partners, pressed Premier Ford to repeal Bill 124, but he refused. He had no interest in consulting with us and hearing our solutions.

I will remember these benign interactions with the Ford government when I vote on June 2. We all deserve a new government that listens to us and respects us, and one that we can trust with our public health-care system.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  March 29, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Webinar registration is open for sessions of Ask a Specialist: Navigating the Professional Responsibility Workload Report Process.

Join a one-hour webinar to be guided through the steps and to better understand the direct connections between your Standards of Practice and filing a Professional Responsibility Workload Report Form (PRWRF).

All – Identifying Standards of Practice in PRWRFs

In this webinar, our specialists will guide you through completing PRWRFs and answer questions you may have including: What is a professional practice issue? How do you connect “workload issues” to your standards of practice? and more.

Tuesday, April 5, 4 p.m.
https://ona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_cyxruBtJRX-DSz-vrw7y_A

All – Professional Responsibility and CNO Standards of Practice

In this webinar specially designed for nurses, our specialists will provide a brief overview of nurses’ professional responsibilities as per CNO’s Practice Standards and Guidelines, discuss commonly impacted Practice Standards and Guidelines when workload issues arise and answer questions you may have about connecting workload issues to Practice Standards when completing PRWRFs.

Tuesday, April 5, 7:30 p.m.
https://ona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_eF6NsRk-RO6z4QZCSn_5mA

All – Your Rights and Professional Responsibilities with Redeployment and Reassignment

In this webinar, our specialists will explore your accountabilities when being redeployed or reassigned, what to do when working with the reassigned worker, considerations for your practice and patients and your rights and responsibilities – using the PRWRF to advocate for change and to protect your College Standards of Practice.

Tuesday, April 12, 11 a.m.
https://ona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_L4jWBel3TmG1CNU1BpqlAQ

Long-term Care (LTC) members: PRWRF – Tips and Tricks

In this webinar, specifically designed for the LTC sector, our specialists will provide you with answers to questions you may have related to bringing issues forward using the PRWRFs, identifying Long-Term Care Homes Act (LTCHA) accountabilities that are at risk when workload issues occur, discussing issues with management, and more.

Tuesday, April 12, 4 p.m.
https://ona.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Y_o63kHsTeqMDAIlAVM2og

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

If you have any questions, please email our Professional Practice Team at registerprofpractice@ona.org. Thank you.

In solidarity,

Angela Preocanin, RN
First Vice-President
Professional Practice Portfolio


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  March 22, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association

Dear ONA member,

During these past few months, we have again been tested by a difficult wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, as our members were confronted with soaring hospitalization rates and staffing pressures.

Although we are coming down from its peak, the Ford government has loosened public health restrictions and masking within public spaces, including schools. I suppose he thinks this means a sense of normalcy will return to our lives.

But we know differently.

These provincial directions are another reason why we should all reflect on who we elect to represent us at Queen’s Park on June 2. Do Premier Ford and his MPPs have our best interests at heart?

Since he took office four years ago, Premier Ford has created chaos in health care. His decisions – whether it be cutting hundreds of millions of dollars from public health to ushering in public sector wage restraint legislation – have been devastating.

I think we can all agree: our health-care system is on the brink of collapse. The Ford government should have been shoring up our public health-care system, not tearing it down. We cannot stand by while the Ford government moves towards privatized care, leaving front-line workers and our public health system in upheaval.

Over the next two months, we need to call out the Ford government for their failure to address the critical shortage of nurses and health-care workers. Ontario has had the worst RN-to-population ratio in Canada for years. Decades of underfunding have left Ontario at least 22,000 nurses short – and the situation is only becoming worse with each passing day. Compared to other provinces, on a per capita basis, Ontario has the fewest RNs, the lowest health-care funding, and the lowest hospital funding.

What’s even worse is that this current government has no viable plan to restore access to our public hospitals and across our public health system. I cannot emphasize this enough: the results of this provincial election will have a direct effect on:

  • Your wages.
  • Your benefits.
  • Your pension.
  • Your working conditions.
  • Health-care privatization.
  • And the care you are able to provide to your patients, residents and clients.

No matter who is elected, the politicians who govern Ontario over the next four years must show us respect and must improve public health care.

I encourage you to become involved in your Bargaining Unit’s election team. Please reach out directly to them. We are all counting on each other.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


News You Can Use


Join us on May 1 for an awesome province-wide Day of Action!

Join nurses and health-care professionals and our labour partners on May 1 to celebrate the gains we have made, to fight to protect public health care and to demand the repeal of Bill 124. Let’s be seen and heard! Visit the ONA website here for more information and to register for our Toronto event, and click here to see the Ontario Federation of Labour event listings across the province.

Quick Bits and Bytes on ONA.org:

  • Nurses decry quiet withdrawal of charges stemming from violence at Southlake Regional Health Centre: With serious workplace violence incidents continuing to plague Southlake Regional Health Centre, ONA President Cathryn Hoy says that she is incensed that several of the latest round of workplace violence charges against Southlake are being quietly withdrawn by the Crown. Read more.
  • April 12 is Equal Pay Day: First recognized in Ontario in 2014, Equal Pay Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap by highlighting that women must work longer than men to earn the same amount. Check out our page for information, events and more.
  • ONA supports child care deal:ONA joins child-care advocates across Ontario celebrating the federal-provincial agreement on affordable child care, though we continue to watch for details that include the availability of child-care during non-standard hours. Read our statement here.
  • Sign up now: We are excited to announce the launch of PRACTICE MATTERS, ONA’s new tailored professional practice eBulletin! This will address specific practice issues, solutions and encourage knowledge exchange among ONA grassroots members, activists and peers. PRACTICE MATTERS is subscription-based, meaning you must sign up for it and you can do so now! Go to ona.org/pm and add your name to the distribution list today!
  • HOOPP announces awesome 2021 results: The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) remained committed to providing members with penion piece of mind. HOOPP is proud to share that the Plan remains fully funded. Learn more about its 2021 results: https://hoopp.com/2021.
  • Read Board Highlights: The February Board Highlights are now available. Please read here to learn about updates from the meeting, including important decisions that affect our members.

Register now for our spring health and safety caucus

Our popular caucusesthis year focus on pandemic planning and respiratory protection. The caucus will provide important information, actions and tips on how to plan for the unexpected.

Regions and dates are:

Region 1 – Friday, May 20
Region 2 – Monday, May 16
Region 3 – Thursday, May 26
Region 4 – Tuesday, May 3
Region 5 – Wednesday, May 18

Click here to register now for the caucus in your region.


 


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  March 16, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

Just a few weeks ago, Health Minister Christine Elliott told reporters that the government wants “independent health facilities operating private hospitals”. We cannot allow more privatization of our health care system.

As nurses and health-care professionals we know better than anyone – when health care is privatized patients suffer, costs go up and wages go down. That’s why ONA has been sounding the alarm about the Ford government’s privatization agenda in hospitals, long-term care, and home and community care. We need to stop any further privatization of our health-care system in its tracks.

The Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) is launching the biggest fight-back campaign in their history to stop Premier Ford’s plan to privatize our health care. Read the OHC’s op-ed in the Toronto Star here.

As part of their campaign to defend public health care, the OHC is hosting a series of local summits across Ontario. Region 3 VP DJ Sanderson and I will be speaking on panels at some of these summits.

I encourage you to attend the emergency summit in your area and help spread the word.

Visit the Ontario Health Coalition website or scroll down to find the event nearest you.

In solidarity,

Angela Preocanin, RN
First Vice-President

Ontario Health Coalition Local Summits to Stop Privatization

OTTAWA- Monday March 21

  • Ottawa Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link
  • Featuring:
    • Ed Cashman, co-chair, Ottawa Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE
    • Dr. Dick Zoutman, retired hospital chief of staff
    • Hugh Armstrong, professor emeritus, Carleton University
    • Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, Canadian Doctors for Medicare

NORTH BAY- Tuesday March 22

  • North Bay Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link
  • Featuring:
    • Henri Giroux, chair, North Bay Health Coalition
    • Ross Sutherland, retired RN, chair, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Doug Allan MA, health care researcher, CUPE
    • Dr. Joel Lexchin, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
    • Amanda Farrow, nurse
    • Randy Robinson, Ontario director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

SUDBURY- Wednesday March 23

  • Sudbury Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link
  • Featuring:
    • Melissa Wood, co chair, Sudbury Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Dr. Jasmine Gite, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
    • Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE
    • Katha Fortier, nurse, Assistant to the President, Unifor

THUNDER BAY- Thursday March 24

  • Thunder Bay Health Coalition at 7:00pm
  • Register in advance at this link
  • Featuring:
    • Jules Tupker, co-chair, Thunder Bay Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Dr. Bernard Ho, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
    • Maureen O’Halloran, RN, staff representative for health care at COPE
    • Sara Labelle, chair of the Hospital Professionals Division, OPSEU
    • Randy Robinson, Ontario director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

DURHAM- Tuesday March 29

  • Durham Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Pam Parks, nurse, co-chair, Durham Health Coalition
    • Lance Livingstone, co-chair, Durham Health Coalition
    • Linda McQuaig, journalist and best-selling author about corporate elites and public policy
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE
    • DJ Sanderson, RN, vice president, Ontario Nurses’ Association.

WINDSOR- Wednesday March 30

  • Windsor Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Tracey Ramsey, co-chair, Windsor Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Maureen O’Halloran, RN, staff representative for health care at COPE
    • DJ Sanderson, RN, vice president, Ontario Nurses’ Association
    • Katha Fortier, nurse, assistant to the president, Unifor
    • Dr. Nancy Olivieri, prominent haematologist, researcher, whistleblower, champion of patient safety and research integrity

KAWARTHA LAKES, HALIBURTON & PETERBOROUGH- Thursday March 31

  • Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough Health Coalitions along with Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Long-Term Care Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link
  • Featuring:
    • Roy Brady, co-chair, Peterborough Health Coalition
    • Zac Miller, co-chair Kawartha Lakes Health Coalition
    • Bonnie Roe, Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Long-Term Care Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Dr. Jasmine Gite, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
    • Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE
    • Randy Robinson, Ontario director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

NORTHUMBERLAND & QUINTE- Thursday March 31

  • Northumberland Health Coalition along with Quinte allies at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Linda Mackenzie-Nicholas, chair, Northumberland Health Coalition
    • Marg Bourgoin, representative of the Health Coalition in Quinte
    • Ross Sutherland, retired nurse, chair, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Sara Labelle, chair of the Hospital Professionals Division, OPSEU
    • DJ Sanderson, RN, vice president, Ontario Nurses’ Association.

OXFORD- Saturday April 2

  • Oxford Coalition for Social Justice at 10:30 am
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Bryan Smith, chair, Oxford Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Linda McQuaig, journalist and best-selling author about corporate elites and public policy
    • Randy Robinson, Ontario director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

GUELPH DISTRICT- Sunday April 3

  • Guelph District Health Coalition at 1:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Brit Hancock, co-chair, Guelph District Health Coalition
    • Barb Hogg, co-chair, Guelph District Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE
    • Randy Robinson, Ontario director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

NIAGARA-Monday April 4

  • Niagara Health Coalition at 7 pm
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • DJ Sanderson, RN, vice president, Ontario Nurses’ Association
    • Sandra Ashcroft, RN, UFCW
    • Dr. Yipeng Ge, Canadian Doctors for Medicare.

WATERLOO- Tuesday April 5

  • Waterloo Regional Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring
    • Jim Stewart, chair, Waterloo Region Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • DJ Sanderson, RN, vice president, Ontario Nurses’ Association
    • Roch Longueepee, patient advocate
    • Zaid Noorsumar, journalist and investigative researcher.

LONDON- Wednesday April 6

  • London Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Peter Bergmanis, co-chair, London Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Maureen O’Halloran, RN, staff representative for health care at COPE
    • Dr. Nancy Olivieri, prominent haematologist, researcher, whistleblower, champion of patient safety and research integrity
    • Dr. Genevieve Eastabrook, assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Schulich School of Medicine, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, LHSC.

CHATHAM-KENT, WALLACEBURG-WALPOLE ISLAND & SARNIA LAMBTON- Thursday April 7

  • Chatham-Kent, Wallaceburg-Walpole Island, Sarnia Lambton Health Coalitions at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link
  • Featuring:
    • Shirley Roebuck, June Weiss, Judy Wolanski, co-chairs, Local Health Coalitions
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Linda McQuaig, journalist and best-selling author about corporate elites and public policy
    • Maureen O’Halloran, RN, staff representative for health care at COPE
    • DJ Sanderson, RN, vice president, ONA.

HAMILTON- Saturday April 9

  • Hamilton Health Coalition at 10:30 am
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Janina Lebon and Rolf Gerstenberger, co-chairs, Hamilton Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Linda McQuaig, journalist and best-selling author about corporate elites and public policy
    • Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE
    • Angela Preocanin, RN, first vice president, Ontario Nurses’ Association
    • Dr. Nancy Olivieri, prominent haematologist, researcher, whistleblower, champion of patient safety and research integrity.

CORNWALL- Saturday April 9

  • Cornwall & District Health Coalition at 2:30 pm
  • Register in advance at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Elaine MacDonald and Louise Lanctot, co-chairs, Cornwall & District Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Linda McQuaig, journalist and best-selling author about corporate elites and public policy
    • Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE
    • Dr. Bernard Ho, Canadian Doctors for Medicare.
    • Bernadette Clement, Canadian Senator
  • For more information: Elaine MacDonald at (613) 330-3117 or elainemacdonald@cogeco.ca

 

KINGSTON- Monday April 11

SAULT-STE-MARIE/ALGOMA- Tuesday April 12

  • Sault-Ste-Marie/Algoma Area Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register at this link 
  • Featuring:
    • Marie Della Vedova and Albert Dupuis, spokespeople, Algoma Region Health Coalition
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Sara Labelle, chair of the hospital professionals’ division, OPSEU
    • Randy Robinson, Ontario director, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

SCARBOROUGH, TORONTO & YORK- Wednesday April 13

  • Toronto Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link
  • Featuring:
    • Mary Jo Nabuurs & Carolyn Egan, representatives, Toronto & York Region Health Coalitions
    • Natalie Mehra, executive director, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Dr. Dick Zoutman, former chief of staff at two major Ontario Hospitals
    • Michelle Jones, long-term care advocate
    • Dr. Yipeng Ge, Canadian Doctors for Medicare
    • Michael Hurley, president, Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE

OAKVILLE, HALTON & BURLINGTON- Tuesday April 19

  • Oakville Health Coalition at 7:00 pm
  • Register in advance at this link
  • Featuring:
    • Mervyn Russell, chair, Oakville Health Coalition
    • Sandra Caleta, founder, Advocates for LTC Reform
    • Dr Gordon Guyatt, distinguished professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University and board member, Ontario Health Coalition
    • Sandra Ashcroft, RN, UFCW
    • Dr. Nancy Olivieri, prominent haematologist, researcher, whistleblower, champion of patient safety and research integrity.

Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram

 


Posted  March 7, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

Today, the Ford government announced the implementation plan for its nurse “retention” payment.

The Premier initially presented this bonus to ONA as a first step to address nurse retention, but the details presented today just don’t cut it. The fine print is complex, including pro-rated payments for part-time nurses, and dispersal will be in two separate payments through employers – with the second delayed until September.

The government has indicated they will be launching a webpage with more information on eligibility criteria. Additional questions related to the bonus can be directed to your employer and, if you have discrepancies with the payment, please contact your Bargaining Unit President.

Ultimately, this government is offering Ontario’s nurses an exclusionary and insufficient band-aid measure that doesn’t begin to address the issues driving nurses away and hurting patient care. I know that nurses across the province are irate at once again being thrown crumbs.

ONA working with our labour partners

ONA is working in solidarity with health care unions across Ontario – SEIU Healthcare, CUPE/OCHU and Unifor – in denouncing this patchwork plan that will fail to retain nurses and excludes health-care workers. This just further demoralizes an already stressed workforce. Read our joint statement here.

Ford government must repeal Bill 124

ONA representatives have previously met with Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott, urging them to repeal Bill 124, their wage suppression legislation. If the Premier is serious about addressing the nursing crisis, he needs to stop shortchanging health-care workers and repeal Bill 124 immediately. That has been our message over the past few months, and we are not backing down.

Looking ahead to the provincial election

Ontarians go to the polls to elect a new provincial government on June 2. This is our collective opportunity to send Premier Ford and his government a clear message: we will not stand idly by while nurses and health-care professionals continue to be disrespected.

These past four years have been a complete disaster in our sector, and these half-baked government plans to try to curtail nurses from leaving the profession are yet another failure. We have the power to elect a government we can trust to fix our health care, consult with us and hear our solutions. I hope you will heed this power and vote on June 2.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  March 6, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

ONA marks International Women’s Day (IWD) every March 8 by celebrating the social, economic and cultural achievements of women. Year after year, IWD continues to grow, both as a celebration and a call-to-action to advance women and gender equity.

In the fall of last year, ONA celebrated a momentous win at the Supreme Court of Canada following a 15-year-long battle to maintain pay equity rights for registered nurses working in private nursing homes. We celebrate this progress while recognizing that there is still much work to be done.

The numbers don’t lie, and they are troubling. Today, women in Canada overall make 32 per cent less than men. As with other female-dominated professions, nurses and health-care workers have had our work undervalued, been impacted by wage suppression legislation, and continue to experience high rates of workplace violence and harassment.

In this era of Bill 124 and other government legislation that is negatively impacting female-dominated professions, there is a renewed sense of importance that gender equity and wage parity should be top of mind to all. Decisions must be made at the provincial level with this lens, to ensure parity.

As your union, our collective work – in bargaining, in grievances, in virtually everything that we do – positively impacts our female-dominated profession. When we fight for nurses, we are doing more than uplifting individual women and workers, we are saying our work is invaluable and deserves to be compensated equitably. Coupled with improvements in health and safety, benefits and pension plans, ONA is at the forefront of improving gender equality.

Together we must continue to raise these issues and be proud of who we are: as union members, as patient advocates, as women and supporters of women.

Happy International Women’s Day, everyone. Let’s celebrate the power we have and use our voices to change the world.

Visit ONA’s website to share our posters and shareables and see event listings honouring IWD: https://www.ona.org/news-posts/international-womens-day-2022/

In solidarity and sisterhood,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  February 26, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association

Dear ONA member,

Over the next three months, our TVs, radios and social media feeds will be filled with an onslaught of political advertising aimed to sway Ontarians to vote for their party of choice in the election on June 2.

Before this crucial election begins, MPPs returned to Queen’s Park for one final legislative session. The Ford government could be using this time to focus on the real issues impacting nurses, health-care professionals and our health-care system, by repealing Bill 124 and Bill 195, increasing funding to hire more RNs, and equalizing pay across sectors. Instead, the Ford government is making cuts. His recently announced plan to eliminate license plate renewal fees will cost the province $1 billion each year. That’s funding that could go toward paying health-care workers fairly and hiring new nurses and health-care professionals. We know Ontario can’t afford any more cuts to health care.

Tell your MPP what matters

Two final constituency weeks – March 14 and April 18 – will be one of your final opportunities to speak with your current MPP before the election campaign, to find out how they are serving you and your community. Constituency Weeks are times when Queen’s Park is not in session, so the MPPs are free to spend the entire week in their own riding meeting with the people they represent. If you would like to meet with your MPP and share how they can better support nurses and health care professionals, you can find out who your MPP is and get their contact info to request a meeting on the Ontario Legislature’s website. Not sure what to say? Reach out to our government relations team at onamail@ona.org to learn more.

Election readiness

At ONA, we are preparing our provincial election campaign so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision come election day. We are proud to have a robust, passionate and energetic Provincial Election Team comprised of 20 front-line members to guide us through the next few months. Plans and actions for members will be rolled out in the next short while, which will underpin our campaign. I encourage you to participate in this upcoming election as we are always looking for volunteers to help in our Nurses Vote Campaignleading up to June 2. Please email onamail@ona.org if you are interested in lending a hand.

Provincial Leadership Meeting next month

Our Provincial Leadership Meeting – to be held virtually on March 23 and 24 – will offer many excellent opportunities for information exchange with your peers in sector groups as well as informative sessions about the upcoming election; engaging communications; diversity, equity and inclusion; as well as how we continue to implement our strategic plan. Please register here now if you have not already done so. This important education should not be missed.

Remember, nurses and health-care professionals are leaders. It is important that we are heard, and we receive the respect that we deserve. You continue to go above and beyond despite the pressures and moral distress. This spring is our opportunity to make sure that candidates running for political office know what we have gone through, what solutions we can offer and what actions we will take so that our voices are heard.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


News You Can Use


Check our COVID-19 page for important updates and information

We are constantly updating our COVID-19 resources page with new information, directives, and more so be sure to visit often. If you have any questions or issues, please contact your Bargaining Unit President.

Quick Bits and Bytes on ONA.org:

  • Join the Ontario Federation of Labour’s March 6 Activist Assembly: There is an urgency for the labour movement to mobilize toward a positive vision of a better Ontario for working people and their families. To that end, OFL affiliates are invited to join the March 6 Activist Assembly: Building the fight for a workers-first agenda. The Activist Assembly takes place on Sunday, March 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and is fully online. Click here for more information and to register.
  • February 28 is International Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) Awareness Day, which is dedicated to RSI education and prevention. RSIs account for more than 40 per cent of all lost-time injuries allowed by Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. This is the single largest class of compensation claims in the province. Many more go unreported, and many that are reported are turned down. Click here for more information and resources.
  • ONA provides two submissions to government Read ONA’s submissionregarding infectious disease and the WSIB: Our submission notes that infectious disease should be presumed to be acquired in the workplace for high-risk workers, like our members. The onus should not be on the worker to prove it was workplace-acquired; the onus must be placed on the employer.
    Fixing the Long-Term Care Act: In our submission, ONA raises concerns about understaffing and underfunding and called for an end to for-profit care. We also continue to call for repeal of Bill 124, which impacts LTC staff in non-profit homes.
  • Join our ONA members-only Facebook group: More than 2,000 members have already joined, and we invite you to do the same. Join our online conversations and be in the know. To join: www.facebook.com/groups/onamembers.


ONA celebrates Black History/Black Futures Month

Visit our page to access posters and shareables and read information about this special month. Remember, we are all responsible to fight against anti-Black racism and discrimination, today and every day.


 


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  February 14, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA membe,

We have received many questions from our members about the retention bonusand the other measures that were discussed at our meeting with Premier Ford last Friday.

Although we don’t have all the answers at this time, we have compiled a brief explainer that may answer some of your questions.

I will be clear: ONA has NOT given up our fight to repeal Bill 124. Our position with Premier Ford was evident – this retention bonus presented by the Premier does not change anything about our ongoing fight to repeal Bill 124, which we know must be abolished to truly begin to address retention and recruitment. Our Charter Challenge continues to move forward, but it will take quite a bit of time for it to go before the courts.

ONA will also continue to press the Premier to recognize the work of all health-care professionals who are integral to our health-care system. We are still working tirelessly to stop the renewal of Bill 195 and demand its immediate repeal and we will not stop this effort until these harmful, disrespectful pieces of legislation are repealed.

Click here to read more.

This week, as we were told, the province’s Treasury Board will review the Premier’s proposal, and then ONA expects to meet with government officials the week of Feb. 22 to discuss the implementation plan. As we learn more details, we will continue to share them with you.

We know that this bonus is not nearly enough to address the significant issues affecting nurses and health-care workers. This was presented to us as a show of good-faith and a first step, and we will be holding the Premier to account for his words. That is my commitment to you.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  February 11, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA membe,

Earlier today, I met with Premier Ford to discuss a plan moving forward to retain nurses in Ontario.

I can report that ONA has negotiated a good-faith retention bonus for all front-line nurses in publicly funded health-care facilities, in the amount of $5,000. There are many details to be resolved over the next few weeks. The Premier indicated that this will go to the Treasury Board as early as next week for approval and further details on implementation.

Additionally, we have secured commitments to implement several measures to fix Ontario’s serious nursing shortage. The government has agreed to resurrect the Late-Career Nursing Initiative, the New Graduate program, and it will work with the Ontario Hospital Association to ensure exhausted nurses can take vacation.

While the Premier has not agreed to repeal Bill 124 at this time, it is not off the table for further discussion, and we will continue to press the Premier on this issue.

We will continue to meet with the government, and we hope make additional inroads into substantially addressing nurse retention and recruitment. For example, we will continue to discuss fast-tracking RPN-to-RN bridging programs and ensuring a speedier process for IENs to enter the workforce. ONA also raised the need for more full-time nursing positions – with a target of 70 per cent full-time – and the Premier did not disagree.

Although we don’t have all the details regarding the retention bonus and other measures at this time, we will keep track of your questions and post responses when we get additional information. I can tell you that the Premier has indicated he will meet with me again in the next two weeks to continue this important conversation.

We appreciate your patience as we firm up these details and continue to consult.

My commitment to you, our members, is that I will do everything in my power to address the issues that are driving the health-care crisis across the province, including unsafe workloads, lack of time off, wage suppression, and more. Our work is not over, and I know much more needs to be done, including when we head to bargaining on behalf of all members.

As I said to Premier Ford: I will not back down.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  February 10, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

I want to provide you with an update regarding our work related to termination policies that some workplaces have initiated.

ONA encourages everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as it is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your communities.

Although vaccine policies in workplaces are considered to be reasonable because of the pandemic and the nature of our work, employers still have an obligation to comply with the Human Rights Code and to accommodate members if they cannot receive a vaccine because of a medical condition or other grounds that are protected by the Code. Employers should be looking at individual employee circumstances, not issuing blanket denials of creed and medical exemptions.

As your union, we have a duty to represent our members. ONA has filed group and union grievances against employers that have imposed vaccinate or terminate policies:

  • ONA is proceeding with more than 25 creed and medical exemptions in all sectors including hospitals, long-term care and Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS).
  • ONA has selected lead cases to challenge vaccinate or terminate policies in the community and home care sectors related to consent.
  • ONA is currently selecting a lead case to challenge these policies in the hospital sector.

If you have any questions about this information, please contact your Bargaining Unit President.

We continue to encourage members, and all Ontarians, to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which is proven to decrease the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death.

In solidarity,

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  January 22, 2022

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

We heard your feedback about needing an all-in-one location to access your union information and services, and we listened. Access ONA, your new online member portal, is almost here!

The Access ONA portal is a convenient and secure one-stop shop, where you can:

  • Maintain your personal records and contact information.
  • View the ONA Workshop Calendar, register for education, and print certificates for completed courses.
  • View your current jobs and learn about your Bargaining Unit.
  • Submit requests for replacement membership cards and other documentation.
  • Access member-exclusive forms, resources and more.

Even more features are in the works and will be introduced as the Access ONA community grows. Keep an eye on your inbox in the coming weeks for your email invitation to join Access ONA. This email will contain:

  • A unique registration link, which should not be shared with others.
  • Details on the information required to activate your account securely.

Important: Invitations will only be sent to members who have an up-to-date personal email address on file with ONA. If you are receiving this message to an employer email address, please contact us to change it to a personal email.

Don’t miss out – update your info today!

Make sure ONA has your most up-to-date personal email and contact information. If you are not receiving regular communications from ONA, please contact us. We need this information to deliver your Access ONA invitation.

Update your information by phone at 1-800-387-5580, ext. 2200 (toll-free) or email MemberChanges@ona.org (include your ONA Member ID as shown on your membership card).

The countdown to Access ONA is on!

Cathryn Hoy, RN
Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  January 19, 2022

Dear ONA member,

Although it is only the beginning of a new year, ONA has hit the ground running by telling the truth of what’s happening in health care, and rightfully so.

 

The state of Ontario health care is chaotic at best, and our stakeholders and the public need to be aware of what’s happening from the front lines of patient, resident and client care. This is where ONA has stepped up and made your stories known to the media, government officials and our communities.

 

Media coverage highlights members’ issues

 

Since early January, the nursing crisis has made headlines across the province including how ONA noted that the nursing crisis has been years in the making, that some employers are suggesting COVID-positive nurses come to work, and calling Code Oranges to address the nursing crisis is an abuse to the system. We are also seeing much local coverage about our issues in Kingston, Ottawa and more. This is an amazing accomplishment because we are getting our messages out there across the province.

 

Our push to #RepealBill124 continues

 

Our work on repealing Bill 124 has garnered extra steam over the past few weeks. The public and our stakeholders are beginning to understand how detrimental Bill 124 is not only for the morale of nurses and health-care professionals, but that it is a true and significant barrier to nurse retention. As our seasoned nurses leave the workplace, our new nurses and nursing students may not receive the vital hands-on training that they need to flourish in an already stressful profession.

 

Just this past week, our Repeal Bill 124 emailer received an additional 10,000 new submissions. We now stand at more than 67,200 emails. I said at our Biennial that I would like to see at least 68,000 submissions – one for each ONA member. We are very close, and I know we can accomplish this target. Please share www.ona.org/bill124 among your members, on social and by email. Every little bit helps. Our Bill 124 Charter Challenge is moving ahead, and we have a tentative court date in the fall. We will keep you updated on this important piece.

 

ONA at many government and stakeholder tables

 

Since early last week, ONA actively participated in several key meetings addressing the current crisis. I spoke at a health-care summit with many Ontario stakeholders including government leaders from the NDPs, Liberals, and the Green Party, unions, the Ontario Hospital Association, and others to achieve consensus on some issues.

 

Last Thursday, Ontario’s Official Opposition leader, Andrea Horwath, hosted a press conference, and I outlined ONA’s concerns and provided solutions to improve working conditions for health-care workers. We also made our position loud and clear at the Ontario Health Coalition’s media conference last week. Ontario’s unions and other health-care organizations are all on the same page: the Ford government must immediately fix the problems nurses and health-care professionals face in the workplace now!

 

I have personally reached out to Premier Ford many times for a meeting. In fact, I sent him a formal written request for a meeting and have not heard back. I am hopeful that he will accept my request so I can press the urgency of our issues and provide thoughtful solutions directly to him.

 

It is important that health-care community partners – including ONA – reach a consensus on issues that directly affect patient care. We will continue to be at these tables to ensure that our members’ concerns are heard loud and clear, and that solutions are brought to the table.

 

I’m proud of our work so far in 2022, and we will continue to be vocal with our demands to improve our working conditions and patient care. We all deserve no less.

 

Cathryn Hoy, RN
President

 

In memoriam: Just a few days ago, we were saddened to learn of the sudden death of ONA staffer Joe Buote, 51, a servicing Labour Relations Officer (LRO) for our North District Service Team. Joe joined ONA in July 2018 as a servicing LRO for the South District Service Team before transferring north in August 2020. Joe leaves behind his wife Rachele Bruyere and three children, Robert Cyopick, Ashley Cyopick and Natalie Cyopick. Our thoughts and condolences are with Joe’s family at this time.


News You Can Use


Check our COVID-19 page for important updates and information

We are constantly updating our COVID-19 resources page with new information, directives, and more so be sure to visit often. We want to make sure that you are informed of the decisions that are affecting you and your workplace. If you have any questions or issues, please contact your Bargaining Unit President.

Quick Bits and Bytes on ONA.org:

  • Attend the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC) Action Assembly: The OHC has put together amazing workshops on Jan. 29 and 30 about a host of issues affecting health care. Topics include why privatization must be stopped, building the movement to protect public health care and more. For more information and to register, click here.
  • Nursing Now Ontario Awards now accepting nominations: the awards recognize a registered practical nurse, a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner who demonstrates the qualities of an exceptional nurse – high professional standards, superior clinical skills and a compassionate practice. Submit your nominations before February 25, 2022.
  • Join our conversations online on the ONA members-only Facebook group:More than 2,000 members have already joined, and we invite you to do the same. Join our online conversations and be in the know. To join: www.facebook.com/groups/onamembers.


ICYMI: ONA has new Vision and Mission Statements

At last year’s Biennial Convention, ONA’s new vision and mission statements were approved by the delegates. Check out this page to read them and to access ONA’s Strategic Plan that will guide our work over the coming years.


 


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  January 3, 2022

Dear ONA member,

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc globally and with the Omicron variant decimating our health-care system in Ontario, we all know that many now are at your breaking point.

There is no question that Ontario is in a nursing crisis. The nursing shortage is now a full-blown catastrophe. We have implored time and again that the Ford government invest immediately in retention strategies and in additional nurses to help stem the COVID-19 tide. Ontario is short more than 22,000 registered nurses compared with the rest of the country. This is tragic and our patients are the ones to suffer most. We need more Registered Nurses and any so-called solutions that replace RNs will not provide the needed care for the acuity of our patients.

Among many issues, ONA has repeatedly raised with the Ford government:

  • That N95 respirators be available to nurses and HCPs. Directive 5 was recently revised to protect hospital and long-term care sector workers, but all health-care workers must have direct access to N95s too. If you are not getting access to N95s, please contact your ONA Bargaining Unit President for assistance.
  • Access to third doses should be prioritized for nurses and health professionals.
  • Expand paid sick leave as a priority.
  • Repeal Bill 124.
  • Implement innovative strategies to retain full-time registered nurses and health professionals, including incentives to bring back retirees to mentor less experienced nurses.

I can tell you that we will seek out every opportunity to demand action from the government and we will be asserting our case for improved retention policies, including improved working and practice conditions.

We are in a fresh year, and we must press our case and have hope and optimism. I want you to know that we see and hear you, and we understand your challenges. We will not back down from this government’s inaction. In fact, we will mount a sustained challenge during the upcoming provincial election period.

We need to work together to push back on this government that does not respect or prioritize health care, nurses, or health professionals.

I will be in touch with you over the coming days to lay the foundation for our next steps. All ONA members and supporters are encouraged and invited to work together to achieve the respect and value for our contribution to the health system that we all need and deserve. Our patients are counting on us as the last line of support.

Today is a new day here at ONA, and I am excited to see what we can accomplish together.

We are strong and we are united. ONA has your back and we will be relentless. Please trust in our collective power as 68,000+ members. We will keep nursing strong.

Cathryn Hoy, RN
ONA Provincial President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram


Posted  December 19, 2021

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

I am now able to report that a substantially revised Directive #5 was released by the Chief Medical Officer of Health on Friday evening, December 17.

Effective December 22, nurses and health-care professionals who are providing direct care to suspected or probable COVID patients or are interacting with in the workplace area of a COVID outbreak will have barrier-free access to N95 respirators or approved equivalent. This means that the directive removes decision-making regarding N95 respirator precautions. You can click here to read the memo from the deputy ministers to the hospital and long-term care associations’ CEOs.

Given the concerns around the increased transmissibility of the COVID Omicron variant, required precautions for nurses and health-care workers are:

  • A fit-tested, seal-checked N95 respirator or approved equivalent.
  • Eye protection (goggles or face shield).
  • Isolation gown.
  • Gloves.

Nurses and health-care professionals are still required to complete a point-of-care risk assessment (PCRA), however, PPE must be given to you by your employer.

This is a very important improvement for our members and all health-care workers. Since the beginning of the pandemic nearly two years ago, ONA has implored the government to make the use of N95 respirators easily accessible in workplaces. Although Directive #5 was implemented noting employers should have N95 respirators available, the worker still needed to, at times, request one from their employer and occasionally faced resistance. Now that this revised directive is in place, hospitals and long-term care homes must ensure that N95s are available barrier-free for nurses and health-care professionals.

Although these revisions are “interim,” they provide better protection for ONA members and health-care workers since the PPE requirement is crystal clear. The revised directive optimizes protection and takes a precautionary approach for this emerging and more transmissible COVID variant.

I encourage you to access and wear full respiratory protection when caring for any patient or resident with any respiratory or other symptoms related to COVID until such time as a confirmed COVID diagnosis is ruled out. Protect yourself! There is NO shortage of PPE.

If you encounter any difficulties in your workplaces, please contact your Bargaining Unit President.

In addition, the government has extended Bill 195 to at least January 15, 2022. ONA will be paying close attention to see whether the government will extend it beyond this date and will advise you accordingly.

Be well, stay healthy and I hope you get some time to enjoy the holiday season.

In solidarity,

Vicki McKenna, RN
President


Ontario Nurses’ Association · 85 Grenville St, Toronto, ON M5S 3A2, Canada

Facebook Twitter Instagram



Posted  December 18, 2021

Ontario Nurses' Association
Dear ONA member,

This is my final message as ONA President. As you may be aware, I am retiring effective December 31, and current First Vice-President Cathryn Hoy, RN, will be leading ONA beginning January 1.

The past two years have been nothing but challenging and, at times, insurmountable. It seemed as though we were bombarded by issues at every turn: the Ford government and his disrespect for nurses and health-care professionals; COVID-19 and the never-ending waves; the continued erosion of the role of registered nurses and ever-increasing workloads.

But, together, we have all strived to make changes to improve our members’ working lives. We won court challenges related to PPE accessibility in workplaces, an amazing pay equity win for our for-profit long-term care members, and more. We provided sound submissions to the Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission, including our members’ stories, which had a direct impact on the Commission’s final recommendations to the Ford government.

As union members, please continue to push the issues that affect you and your patients, residents and clients the most. Know that you have 68,000+ members standing with you as well as a strong ONA Board of Directors led by Cathryn, as fierce as a leader as they come. I know she will work tirelessly to get results for the betterment of you, our members.

Thank you so much for going above and beyond. Words cannot capture my gratitude for all of the work that you do, but know that I appreciate and respect all that you are doing for our union and our patients.

I hope you are able to have a bit of a respite during the holidays; enjoy your downtime and have a safe and healthy 2022.

Take good care,

Vicki McKenna, RN
President