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DECEMBER 2010 Vol. 10 • No. 6

In This Issue . . . E4

The Members’ Publication of the Ontario Nurses’ Association

From ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN E5 From ONA CEO Lesley Bell, RN, MBA E6 From ONA First Vice-President Vicki McKenna, RN

Value the Invaluable! FEATURES

Retiree Reflects on Nursing Cuts.........11 A Chat with CNSA Ontario Regional Director.......................................18 ELearning Launched!...............................20

INDEX

Up Front.......................................................... 3 Member News.............................................. 7 ONA News....................................................12 Queen’s Park Update................................16 CFNU News..................................................16 Professional Practice................................17 Student Affiliation.....................................18 OFL News.....................................................19 Education.....................................................20 Human Rights and Equity......................21 Awards and Decisions..............................22

Special Feature: PRESIDENT’S REPORT ON 2010 BIENNIAL CONVENTION

During a sneak preview of our new campaign at the Biennial Convention in Toronto on November 9, 2010, ONA members enter the main meeting room via a red carpet, complete with autograph seekers and paparazzi, and pose for personalized MVP pro athlete cards to remind them of the value they bring to the system.

ONA

has launched a new and innovative campaign which likens registered nurses to pro athletes and asks Ontarians to value the priceless health care skills, leadership and knowledge that they bring to the system. The Value the Invaluable campaign kicked off on November 21, 2010 with two radio ads featuring the “voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs,” announcer Joe Bowen giving a high-energy play-by-play of a typical nurse’s hectic day and a reporter conducting a locker room-type interview of a nurse who has just completed a “hat-trick” on the Labour continues on page 3 

Bargaining Gets Underway Despite the government’s suggestion of a total compensation freeze for unionized public sector workers, the process for bargaining renewed central collective agreements for our hospital and nursing homes members is well underway, boosted by an independent arbitrator’s recent ruling. As the Hospital Central Collective Agree-

ment expires on March 31, 2011, an election was held this fall to determine the regional representatives of the new bargaining team. The Hospital Central Negotiating Team met for orientation the first week of November to discuss, among other things, the results of our recent online Have a Say questionnaire, which deter- continues on page 3 

Included with this issue: THE WORK OF THE UNION: FALL 2010 UPDATE


How to contact

your 2010 ONA Board of Directors Call ONA toll-free at 1-800-387-5580 (press 0) or (416) 964-1979 in Toronto and follow the operator’s prompts to access board members’

DECEMBER 2010 Vol. 10 • No. 6

Send submissions to:

voice-mail. Voice-mail numbers (VM) for Board

Communications and Government Relations Intake at cgrintake@ona.org.

members in the Toronto office are listed below.

Contributors: Sheree Bond, Ruth Ciavalgia, Colin Johnston, Nancy Johnson, Mary Lou King, Mariana Markovic, Enid Mitchell, Lawrence Walter

Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN

President, VM #2254 Communications & Public Relations Vicki McKenna, RN

Editor: Ruth Featherstone Features Editor: Melanie Levenson

The Members’ Publication of the Ontario Nurses’ Association

First VP, VM #2314 Political Action & Professional Issues

ONA Provincial Office 85 Grenville St., Ste. 400 Tel: (416) 964-8833

Fax: (416) 964-8864

Toronto ON M5S 3A2

E-mail: onamail@ona.org

Toll free: 1-800-387-5580

ONA is the union representing 55,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals and more than 12,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the

Diane Parker, RN

community, clinics and industry.

VP Region 1, VM #7710 Occupational Health & Safety

Copyright © 2010 Ontario Nurses’ Association All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic,

Anne Clark, RN

mechanical, photocopy, recording, or by any information storage or

VP Region 2, VM #7758 Labour Relations

retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher (ONA members are excepted). ISSN: 0834-9088

Andy Summers, RN

VP Region 3, VM #7754 Human Rights & Equity

Printed by union labour: Thistle Printing Limited

ONA Regional Offices

Dianne Leclair, RN

E Hamilton

E Orillia

E Thunder Bay

VP Region 4, VM #7752 Finance

2 King St., W., 2nd Floor Rear Dundas, ON L9H 6Z1 Tel: (905) 628-0850 Fax: (905) 628-2557 E Kingston 4 Cataraqui St., Ste. 306 Kingston ON K7K 1Z7 Tel: (613) 545-1110 Fax: (613) 531-9043 E London 750 Baseline Rd. E. Ste. 204 London ON N6C 2R5 Tel: (519) 438-2153 Fax: (519) 433-2050

210 Memorial Ave., Unit 126A Orillia ON L3V 7V1 Tel: (705) 327-0404 Fax: (705) 327-0511 E Ottawa 1400 Clyde Ave., Ste. 211 Nepean ON K2G 3J2 Tel: (613) 226-3733 Fax: (613) 723-0947 E Sudbury 764 Notre Dame Ave., Unit 3 Sudbury ON P3A 2T4 Tel: (705) 560-2610 Fax: (705) 560-1411

Karen Bertrand, RN

VP Region 5, VM #7702 Education

www.ona.org

Lesley Bell, RN, MBA

Chief Executive Officer, VM #2255

2

Design: Artifact graphic design

DECEMBER 2010

#300, Woodgate Centre, 1139 Alloy Dr. Thunder Bay ON P7B 6M8 Tel: (807) 344-9115 Fax: (807) 344-8850 E Timmins Canadian Mental Health Association Building 330 Second Ave, Ste. 203 Timmins ON P4N 8A4 Tel: (705) 264-2294 Fax: (705) 268-4355 E Windsor 3155 Howard Ave., Ste. 220 Windsor ON N8X 3Y9 Tel: (519) 966-6350 Fax: (519) 972-0814


UP Front

 continues from cover

Bargaining Gets Underway Hospital Team Gets to Work!

Director Dan Anderson (chief negotiator), Catherine Iles-Peck

ONA’s Hospital Central Negotiating Team for this round comes

(staff), Sandy Bolyki (Princess Margaret Hospital), Sherri Street

together for the first time the week of November 1, 2010. Pictured

(staff), Eric Drouin (The Ottawa Hospital). Front row (left to right):

are (back row, left to right): Michele Martin (staff), Sue McCulloch

Carol Oates (Rouge Valley Health System), Libbi Poser (Hotel-Dieu

(staff), Pat Gibson (staff), Cheryl McSweeney (Thunder Bay

Hospital, Kingston), Chair Pat MacDonald (Hamilton Health

Regional Hospital), Diane Strachan (London Health Sciences

Sciences Centre), President Linda Haslam-Stroud, Rhonda Millar

Centre), Esi Codjoe (staff), CEO Lesley Bell, Manager of Contract

(North Bay General Hospital), Donna Bain (St. Joseph’s Heathcare,

Administration and Bargaining Process Valerie MacDonald,

Hamilton), Colleen Durham (Woodstock General Hospital).

mines our members’ bargaining objectives, the wage freeze and the current contract. Dates for negotiations have been set for January 10-14, 2011 and January 31-February 4, 2011, with mediation (if needed) on March 8, 16-17, 2011 and arbitration (again, if needed) on April 30 and May 1, 2011. Elections for the Nursing Homes Central Negotiating Team are currently in progress, with orientation for the new team slated for February 22-25, 2011. The collective agreement expires on June 30, 2011. While the government announced in its budget last spring that it would ask public sector unions, including ONA, to voluntary accept a two-year total compensation freeze to help it deal with its deficit – and following a series of meetings with government and

health care employer representatives that yielded little – we will continue to bargain as normal. “If the government is looking for places to save money, registered nurses who care for the patients of this province shouldn’t even be on that list, let alone at the top,” said ONA President Linda HaslamStroud. “Instead, we are asking the government to rescind its tax cuts to wealthy corporations, which would result in significant savings that could be used to show our members how much they are valued.” We are encouraged by another arbitrator’s ruling this past November, which awarded two per cent pay raises over two years to about 16,000 RPNs and other hospital workers represented by the Service Employees International Union.

Value the Invaluable!

 continues from cover

and Delivery unit. The radio ads are running in 22 markets across the province and have been closely followed by a French print ad and transit shelter and web-based ads depicting a framed and signed nurse’s “jersey” (scrubs) and a most valuable player hockey card highlighting a front-line nurse. The ads muse, “if only registered nurses were valued the way pro athlethes are” (see back cover).

“For way too long, our members have seen our profession portrayed by health care leaders as simply another expenditure on a spreadsheet,” said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud. “They’ve seen patient care threatened as thousands of our colleagues’ positions are cut to balance budgets. This campaign celebrates the skills, leadership and knowledge that nurses bring to health

care and recognizes them as the health care leaders they truly are.” We are also asking our members and the public to take action by filling out a form on our website urging Premier Dalton McGuinty, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Deb Matthews and MPPs to stop the RN cuts and preserve high quality patient care. To listen to the radio ads or view the transit shelter ads and fill out the form, log onto www.ona.org.

DECEMBER 2010

3


From ONA President Présidente, AIIO

Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN

You are the Value in Health Care

T

he debate on the future of health care and how to fund it is becoming louder and more persistent each week. Media outlets, think tanks, “experts” and governments at all levels are wading in. Amidst the debate, a few nuggets of pertinent information are emerging. Most recently, the Globe and Mail reported that public spending on physicians has become the fastest-growing expense to Canada’s health care system (drug costs are the second fastest-growing item). All while the providers of front-line care are seeing their positions and hours eliminated! This makes no sense. We know – and research backs us up – that RNs provide true value to the health care system, both financially and in terms of health outcomes. Studies have repeatedly shown that cutting RNs results in higher rates of complications and death for patients. As you can see, our union launched its latest ad campaign late in November, and it’s all about value – in fact, it’s about valuing the invaluable: the contribution of RNs. I hope that you’ve all heard the radio ads, seen the transit shelter ads, and that you remember what we all know to be true – you are the best value in this system, and you are invaluable to your patients’ health outcomes. As your President, I will continue to be there speaking out for you and for our patients, and will leverage every opportunity to remind policy makers and the public of the priceless value of what all our members do each and every day.

We know – and research backs us up – that RNs provide true value to the health care system, both financially and in terms of health outcomes.

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DECEMBER 2010

Vous êtes l’atout le plus précieux du système de santé

L

e débat sur l’avenir du système des soins de santé et sur son mode de financement prend de l’ampleur et se fait plus présent chaque semaine. Les médias, les groupes de réflexion, les « experts » et tous les ordres de gouvernement s’en mêlent. Au milieu du débat, quelques bribes d’information émergent. Tout dernièrement, un article du Globe and Mail indiquait que les dépenses publiques consacrées aux médecins sont devenues les dépenses qui affichent la croissance la plus rapide dans le système de santé canadien, celles consacrées aux médicaments arrivant en deuxième position. Et cela, alors que les fournisseurs de soins de première ligne assistent à des suppressions de postes et d’heures! C’est insensé. Nous savons – et des études nous le confirment – que les IA sont au cœur du système de santé, aussi bien sur le plan financier que sur celui des résultats en matière de santé. Des études ont révélé à maintes reprises que les suppressions de postes d’IA sont la cause de taux de complications plus élevés pour les patients et des taux plus élevés de décès. Comme vous le savez, notre syndicat a lancé sa toute dernière campagne publicitaire en novembre, et le thème en est la valeur que vous représentez – en fait la valorisation de ce qui n’a pas de prix – la contribution des IA. J’espère que vous avez entendu les annonces à la radio, vu les affiches sur les abribus et que vous vous souvenez de ce qui est vrai et que nous savons toutes – vous êtes l’atout le plus précieux du système de santé et votre contribution à l’amélioration de la santé de vos patients n’a pas de prix. À titre de présidente de votre syndicat, je continuerai de faire entendre ma voix en votre nom et au nom de nos patients. Je saisirai toutes les occasions de rappeler aux décideurs et à la population la valeur inestimable de ce que chacun de nos membres accomplit chaque jour.


From ONA Chief Executive Officer Directrice générale, AIIO

Lesley Bell, RN, MBA

Help us Preserve your Personal Liability Coverage!

I

n the last few weeks, we have fielded many calls from members concerned about the changes to the Regulated Health Professions Act regarding personal liability, which I discussed in my last Front Lines column. Your concerns are well-founded and we share them with you. But I want to assure you that until you hear otherwise, you are currently still covered by the ONA Liability Insurance Plan (in excess of what your employer offers). And if we have anything to do with it, you will continue to be in the future. (To read details on the changes, see pg. 17 of this issue.) We have been in talks with government and College of Nurses of Ontario (CNO) representatives this fall to reiterate that ONA members already have adequate person liability coverage through these plans. But this is where we really need your help. At the November Biennial Convention, ONA instigated a letter writing campaign to the CNO. We were inundated with letters there, but we need to keep it up if we are going to make an impact. So please join this lobby effort by writing your own (or a group) letter to the CNO. Everything you need to assist you – background information, our key messages, where to send the letter, etc. – is available right on the homepage of the ONA website at www.ona.org. Time and time again, ONA members have shown their resilience in fighting for their rights and I know I can count on you to do so again. Together, we can ensure that you continue to be protected by the best excess insurance coverage there is: The ONA Liability Insurance Plan.

At the November Biennial Convention, ONA instigated a letter writing campaign to the CNO. We were inundated with letters there, but we need to keep it up if we are going to make an impact.

Aidez-nous à maintenir votre assurance responsabilité civile personnelle!

A

u cours des dernières semaines, nous avons répondu à de nombreux appels de membres préoccupés par des modifications à la Loi sur les professions de la santé réglementées, lesquelles visent la responsabilité personnelle, et dont j’ai déjà parlé dans ma chronique du dernier Front Lines. Vos inquiétudes sont fondées et nous les partageons. Toutefois, je tiens à vous assurer que jusqu’à nouvel ordre, vous êtes toujours couverts par le Régime d’assurance responsabilité de l’AIIO (en complément de celui que votre employeur vous fournit). Et en ce qui nous concerne, vous continuerez de l’être dans le futur. (Pour obtenir des précisions sur les modifications, consultez la page 17 de ce numéro.) À l’automne, nous avons eu des discussions avec des représentants du gouvernement et de l’Ordre des infirmières et infirmiers de l’Ontario (OIIO) pour rappeler que les membres de l’AIIO bénéficient déjà d’une couverture de la responsabilité personnelle suffisante en vertu de ces régimes. Voici où nous avons vraiment besoin de votre aide. À la convention biennale de novembre, l’AIIO a été l’instigatrice d’une campagne de rédaction de lettres à l’OIIO. Nous avons été inondés de lettres jusqu’à maintenant, mais nous devons persévérer pour que cette campagne ait un impact. Alors, participez à cette campagne de pression en rédigeant une lettre personnelle ou au nom d’un groupe à l’intention de l’OIIO. Vous trouverez tout ce dont vous avez besoin pour vous y aider (renseignements généraux, nos messages clés, où envoyer votre lettre, etc.) sur la page d’accueil du site web de l’AIIO à www.ona.org. Maintes et maintes fois, les membres de l’AIIO ont fait preuve de ténacité dans leur combat pour défendre leurs droits et je sais que je peux compter sur vous cette fois encore. Ensemble, nous pouvons faire en sorte que vous demeuriez protégés par la meilleure assurance complémentaire qui soit : le régime d’assurance responsabilité de l’AIIO.

DECEMBER 2010

5


From First Vice-President Première vice-présidente, AIIO

Vicki McKenna, RN

Bringing the OHC’s Action Plan to Life

Mise en œuvre du plan d’action de l’OHC

or a number of years, ONA has been a proud supporter of the Ontario Health Coalition (OHC), a network of more than 400 grassroots community organizations representing virtually all areas of the province. And with an election on the horizon, never has it been more important for us to help bring its action plan for the upcoming year to life. The OHC’s fundamental goals – to preserve our public health care system and protect quality patient care – are in line with our own. Its action plan, which ONA members and staff helped design at the Health Action Assembly this past November, is essentially a blueprint of the campaigns the OHC will embark on in the next few months to help us get there. Among the actions are: fighting against the myth of Medicare unsustainability; ramping up campaigns to stop hospital cuts; increasing education and action on fee-for-service hospital funding; exposing home care cuts; stopping private clinics; instigating a campaign to stop the downloading of patients into retirement homes; and working to safeguard federal health transfers. If you think these are lofty goals, take a look at the OHC’s accomplishments from this past year alone in its recently-released Annual Report (www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca). These impressive achievements would not have been possible without the assistance of our members – some of whom are pictured in the report – joining OHC campaigns in your own communities to lobby for change. I encourage you to continue to support the OHC in the year ahead as the blueprint is enacted. After all, the voice of 55,000 members is hard to ignore, but the voice of all our members combined with the forces of our allies from the OHC is that much harder!

epuis un certain nombre d’années, l’AIIO appuie fièrement l’Ontario Health Coalition (OHC), un réseau de plus de 400 organismes communautaires locaux représentant pratiquement toutes les régions de la province. À l’approche des élections, il est fondamental pour nous de favoriser la mise en œuvre de son plan d’action pour l’année à venir. Les objectifs fondamentaux de l’OHC, soit de préserver notre système de soins de santé et de protéger la qualité des soins prodigués aux patients, sont conformes aux nôtres. Son plan d’action, que les membres et le personnel de l’AIIO ont aidé à concevoir lors de la Health Action Assembly en novembre dernier, consiste essentiellement en un plan détaillé des campagnes que l’OHC prévoit lancer au cours des prochains mois afin de nous aider à atteindre nos objectifs. Voici quelques-unes des initiatives prévues : combattre le mythe entourant la précarité de l’assurance-maladie; intensifier les campagnes visant à mettre fin aux compressions dans les hôpitaux, accroître la sensibilisation et les actions en matière de financement à l’acte dans les hôpitaux; dénoncer les compressions dans le domaine des soins à domicile; stopper la croissance des cliniques privées; lancer une campagne visant à mettre fin au transfert abusif des patients dans des maisons de retraite; et s’efforcer de protéger les transferts fédéraux pour la santé. Si vous pensez qu’il s’agit d’objectifs trop ambitieux, jetez un coup d’œil aux réalisations de l’OHC de l’année dernière seulement, figurant dans le rapport annuel récemment publié (www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca). Ces impressionnants accomplissements n’auraient pas été possibles sans l’aide de nos membres, dont certains sont en photo dans le rapport, qui ont participé aux campagnes de l’OHC dans votre propre communauté afin d’exercer des pressions en vue de parvenir à des changements. Je vous encourage à continuer de soutenir l’OHC au cours de l’année à venir maintenant que le plan détaillé a été établi. Après tout, la voix de 55 000 membres est difficile à ignorer, mais la voix de tous nos membres, combinée aux forces de nos alliés de l’OHC, sera encore plus convaincante!

F

The OHC’s fundamental goals – to preserve our public health care system and protect quality patient care – are in line with our own. 6

DECEMBER 2010

D


ONA Members Across Ontario

Get Members to the Meetings!

One Local believes the best way for members to see the big ONA picture is to attend the big ONA meetings.

two under the age of 30 (pictured).

learning gaps and the steps they have taken.”

“They were extremely grateful for the op-

And these members, many of whom have

portunity and extremely impressed with what

never been involved in ONA, are singing our

Local 100 in London has a strong mandate

we do,” she said. “They were inspired and ex-

praises, she said, adding that “I tell them not to

from its membership to reinvest funds from its

cited to be union members, and one was

be regretful, but to think about what they can

dues levy back into education. And Bargaining

brought to tears. They walked away feeling

do now, what strategies we can use to further

Unit President Diane Strachan, a strong pro-

they had 55,000 members standing behind

engage other members.” In fact, all five mem-

ponent of face-to-face contact with members,

them.”

bers have been asked to submit ideas.

can think of no better way of doing so than

“You don’t know what ONA does unless

Because of the success of this initiative,

taking them to provincial meetings where the

you need its support,” said new unit rep Blair

Strachan said the Local will fund as many

work of the union is highlighted.

Walker. “When everything is going great, there

members to attend future Biennial Con-

“I believe in the collective and a powerful

can be a disconnect, but it’s interesting to see

ventions or November Provincial Coordi-

voice together, and on a daily basis it’s really

the process first-hand and where our dues go.

nators Meetings (in a non-Biennial year) in

important to immerse nurses into situations to

I now feel better prepared to deal with issues.”

Toronto “as our budget will allow” and she

learn,” she said. “That doesn’t mean just read-

Added Kim Brunke, a 25-year member of

encourages other Locals to do the same.

ing something or me telling them. They have

ONA attending her first Biennial, “I felt empow-

“The work of ONA sells ONA, and you can’t

to be there to experience it so they can fully

ered walking into that room, knowing there are

deny the power of the big meetings,” she said.

understand what the union does.”

a lot of seasoned professionals who are here

“I advise other Locals to put every penny they

for me. It has given me a sense of belonging.”

comfortably can into bringing members to

During Nursing Week, the Local drew the names of five grassroots members for an all expenses paid trip to the recent Biennial Con-

Now that the group has returned to London, that sense of belonging continues.

meetings because that is the biggest bang for their buck. We’re way past the time when it’s

vention with absolutely no requirement that

“These members are now reading our

about the Local Coordinator and Bargaining

they become floor reps. The Local brought a

newsletter and I have added them to my con-

Unit President. It has to be about everybody.

contingent of 40 Local leaders and front-line

tact list,” Strachan said. “One member has since

The strength of our profession and the power

members, including the five draw winners and

called me to her floor to discuss issues and

of our union reside in each and every member.”

ONA Heading to IAC at Sault Area Hospital ONA members at Sault Area Hospital (SAH)

on safe patient care. Patients in the hemodi-

have called in an Independent Assessment

alysis unit are among the most complex and

“While there is a vital role for RPNs to play

Committee (IAC) to examine RN staffing lev-

have a high risk of negative outcomes, requir-

in health care, the patients in the hemodialy-

els and make recommendations.

ing the advanced assessment skills of an RN.

sis unit at SAH are too complex and unpredict-

on February 8-10, 2011.

In what has become a widespread con-

ONA’s attempts to find solutions with SAH

able – they need the broad scope of practice,

cern as hospitals across the province replace

repeatedly failed, and we reluctantly took

skills and experience that RNs bring,” said ONA

RNs with RPNs to balance their budgets, SAH

the step of calling in an IAC, a panel of three

President Linda Haslam-Stroud. “It’s unfair to

began introducing RPNs into its hemodialysis

experts who conduct a hearing into the unit

patients, RPNs and RNs. Patients need the

unit last May. RNs expressed concerns about

in question and make recommendations to

right caregiver in the right unit at the right

their practice and workloads and the effect

resolve the issues. The hearing will be held

time to ensure good health outcomes.”

DECEMBER 2010

7


ONA Members Across Ontario NURSE PRACTITIONERS

First NP Focus Group Big Success! For the first time since becoming ONA members, nurse practitioners have come together to discuss their realities in an effort to learn from one another, come up with solutions to the challenges they face and assist us with negotiating on their behalf. ONA’s inaugural Nurse Practitioner (NP) Focus Group, held on Sep-

other mentioned that ONA stands for social justice and equity, and nurses in all classifications also believe in these principles.

tember 29, 2010 at the provincial office in Toronto, was facilitated by Pro-

To prepare for the focus group and formulate discussion topics,

vincial Education Coordination Team Manager Enid Mitchell and attend-

ONA developed a short online survey for NP members. We received a

ed by 11 NPs from across the province, ONA President Linda Haslam-

very high response rate.

Stroud, First Vice-President Vicki McKenna and several members of staff.

Information gathered at the focus group is critical for ONA, as it

During the full-day event, the group watched snippets of ONA’s

will help our Local leaders and Labour Relations Officers better under-

unionism versus professionalism DVD and discussed key issues affect-

stand the issues NPs face and continue to bargain appropriate collec-

ing their profession, such as workload; the maintenance of their lead-

tive agreement language.

ership roles; strategies to clarify the NP role; employer expectations; common needs; NP flexibility and autonomy; how NPs fit into collective agreements; negotiating for NP remuneration; and promotion of the NP role. One participant noted that she has seen improvements to her work life in the past 18 months since becoming an ONA member. An-

First Full-Time President Passes Away ONA is deeply saddened to learn of the passing on October 13, 2010 of our first full-time provincial president. Heather Dolan, who became ONA president in 1980, died at South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge, where she had worked for many years. While Heather Dolan,

not ONA’s inaugural president, she was

1980

the first to be on leave and working for ONA in a full-time capacity, after voting

delegates at the 1976 Annual Meeting expressed a desire for the president to be more visible, more accessible to membership and to speak on behalf of the association. Following her presidency, Heather joined ONA staff from 19811995 as Director of Administrative Services. The role was later renamed Chief Operating Officer. We express our deepest sympathies to Heather’s family, friends and former colleagues.

8

DECEMBER 2010

Appreciating and Honouring Staff In a display of the true partnership and connection that exists between ONA members and staff, Local 2 Coordinator Bernadette Denis presents ONA Labour Relations Officer Joshua Henley, who transferred to ONA’s Orillia office, with a parting gift at a special surprise farewell lunch during the Local’s executive meeting at the Day’s Inn in Sudbury on May 28, 2010. “Henley’s sense of responsibility, availability and leadership has been remarkable,” Denis said. “We have all benefited from his understanding, kindness and service. Although he will be missed, we know that he will continue to serve other Locals with the same enthusiasm and dedication he has exemplified here with us.”


New ONA Pin Recognizes Long-Serving Leaders ONA has developed a long-service lapel pin to acknowledge and honour the important contributions of our Local leaders. ONA leaders who have dedicated 10 or

Taking Some Time to Smell the Flowers The setting couldn’t be more idyllic as an annual ONA Health and Safety Caucus is held on May 26, 2010 at Brockville’s Faith Walk and Garden of Hope, described as a place of reflection and healing, comfort and joy. During the presentation, Local leaders from other areas of the province were interviewed about their safety committee investigations of SARS and MRSA. Pictured in the gardens are (standing left to right): Local 100 Bargaining Unit President Diane Strachan, Provincial Education Coordination Team (PECT) prime Donna Eberle, Local 100 Coordinator Jill Ross, Health and Safety Specialist Erna Bujna, Region 2 Vice-President Anne Clark, Labour Relations Officer Tricia Sadoway, and Labour Relations Assistant Louise Ford. Front row (left to right): Local 6 Coordinator Carolyn Edgar, Health and Safety Specialist Nancy Johnson.

more years of service at the provincial, Local and/or Bargaining Unit levels, can receive these pins. Along with the pin, you will receive a letter of recognition from the President thanking you for your contribution on behalf of ONA members. You might also be honoured in a variety of ways at the Bargaining Unit and Local levels. To obtain the pin, Local Coordinators must e-mail a pin request form to the Office of the President. The form is available on our website at www.ona.org. Click on “Publications and Forms” at the top and then “LongService Pin Request Form.”

Educating our Reps Approximately 45 union representatives from The Ottawa Hospital, Local 83, gather at the Centurion Conference Centre in Ottawa on October 21, 2010 to learn the ins and outs of their important role so they can better serve our members. The session, one of many ONA offers to assist members and leaders with union issues and roles, was presented by Provincial Education Coordination Team prime Donna Eberle.

DECEMBER 2010

9


ONA Members Across Ontario ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

ONA’s Respiratory Therapists Educate Others The following was submitted by Local 51 member David McKay, Senior Respiratory Therapist at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa. Respiratory Therapist members at Lakeridge Health took the opportunity of National Respiratory Therapy Week, October 24-30, 2010, to help spread the word about their important work. Registered Respiratory Therapists (RRT) are members of the inter-professional team who are highly skilled practitioners of cardiorespiratory health care and disease management. While mechanical ventilation and airway management is the root of their education and practice, the Respiratory Therapists at Lakeridge Health initiated their evolution into a full scope-of-practice care model. This approach has allowed the RRTs to perform procedures and duties not generally done as part of their everyday practice, but well within the controlled acts delegated to them under the Regulated Health Professions Act. While this ability has increased job satisfaction and clinical role fulfillment, it has also enhanced their collaboration with their nursing colleagues for the betterment of patient care. To celebrate Respiratory Therapy Week, this dedicated team started with their third Annual Respiratory Education Day for the Central East Local Health Integration Network. Using this as a catalyst, the team provided insight into air quality issues to the entire staff at Lakeridge via intranet messages. These bastions to better breathing continued

ONA members Miranda Oppers, Respiratory Therapist Professional Practice Leader, and Jane Health, Respiratory Educator, really take the cake during National Respiratory Therapy Week celebrations at Lakeridge Health this past October!

their information sharing by utilizing visual displays and posters to educate their peers and the public on the role of an RRT. Unfortunately, this year’s celebrations did not include a rematch of the now infamous chili cook-off, but many members of the Lakeridge staff did voice their disappointment and offered subtle pleas for its return next year! ONA would like to offer our congratulations to all our Respiratory Therapy members and wish them continued success for the coming year.

Happy MRT Week! ONA’s Medical Radiation Technologists (MRT) have joined with their colleagues across Canada to celebrate National MRT Week. Much like Nursing Week celebrated each May, MRT Week, held from November 7-13 this year, is set aside to laud the contributions these highly skilled professionals make to the health care system. MRTs may

ONA Welcomes New Members ONA has recently held a series of successful certification votes: • Helen Henderson Care Centre, Amherstview: 12 RNs. • VON Canada, Ontario branch, North Bay site: 9 RPNs. • Hampton Terrace Care Centre, Burlington: 11 RNs. • Brant Centre Long-Term Care Residence, Burlington: 11 RNs. • Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, Mississauga: 22 RNs. We welcome these new members to our union.

choose to specialize in one or more of the four disciplines of medical imaging and radiation science (nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance, radiation therapy or radiology). They use radiation or electromagnetism to perform diagnostic imaging examinations of a patient’s body or administer radiation to treat patients for certain medical conditions, on the order of a physician. MRTs, who were given special recognition at ONA’s Biennial Convention that fell during the same week, provide a delicate balance between technical knowledge and adaptive patient skills, generally in a hospital or clinic, and play an important role in the promotion of medical radiation safety for patients. ONA is proud of its many MRT members, who are a component of the allied health group, and joined in the celebration during this week of special recognition.

10

DECEMBER 2010


Reflections on Nursing Cutbacks

the decision was made after a brand new

The following article was submitted by retired

hospital had been built in 2008 and extra

ONA member Lurline Reynolds-Kester, who re-

staff hired. My experience in the ER was a

sides in Peterborough.

direct result of the decision to cut staff and

My nursing career spans some 30 years,

close beds. Hospitals are supposed to be

practising mainly in the operating room (OR)

that day. This precipitated a cancellation of

a place of healing, but I’m afraid that some

at several hospitals in Ontario, including

the last case of the day, or nurses were paid

have become a place of turmoil and suffer-

Kingston General, Scarborough Centenary,

overtime to complete the cases. The cutbacks

ing. Moreover, I was concerned about other

St. Joseph’s General (Peterborough), and To-

in nursing staff exacerbated an already diffi-

patients who appeared more vulnerable. As a

ronto General.

cult situation. In the long run, it cost more to

professional nurse who knew about hospital

complete the surgery of the day than would

operations, I could advocate for myself, but

have been saved by cutting OR nurses.

who would speak up for the other patients?

My recent experience started with a persistent cough that became progressively worse. I knew I should go to the ER, but resisted be-

My recent experience at PRHC turned out

It is evident that safe staffing practices

cause I was fully aware of bed constraints and

to be a sad reminder of how our nurses bear

and healthier workplaces can improve pa-

overcrowding. Eventually, I went to the Peter-

the brunt of cutbacks and how patients suf-

tient care and bring stability to the health care

borough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) ER,

fer. I laid on a hard gurney in the ER for four

system. Nurses have to speak up about how

where I was diagnosed with pneumonia and

days, being shunted from one end of the ER

their practice is adversely affected by cut-

extreme dehydration, and admitted.

to another. At one time, I was placed in a

backs. They have to become political to effect

Throughout my years of nursing practice,

busy, noisy hallway. I suffer with fibromyalgia

change. I remember with a certain degree of

I was cognizant of the fact that whenever

and my body ached for days after. The nurses

nostalgia the Mike Harris days when we stood

hospitals could not balance their budgets,

appeared rushed and stressed. After my dis-

up and fought the cutbacks. We were there at

their first cutbacks were nursing positions.

charge, I was so concerned about the extent

the legislature up close and personal! That is

When fewer nurses were carrying a heavier

to which my care had been affected by nurs-

what is required now, not just protests in vari-

patient load, the quality of their nursing

ing cuts, that I approached the local media.

ous hospital communities. Remember, united

practice was adversely compromised.

CHEX TV did a three-minute segment about

we stand, divided we fall! It is the government

my concerns and I was interviewed for an ar-

that is the true power here. They are the ones

ticle in the Peterborough Examiner.

pulling the strings and the local health care

I remember nursing cutbacks at Kingston General in 1967. While working in Obstetrics/ Labour and Delivery, a senior nurse com-

Earlier this year, a Peer Review Commit-

plained to our nurse manager that we were

tee recommended closing beds and laying

so strapped for time that we could not even

off full-time nurses at PRHC. The irony is that

authorities are doing their bidding! When we stand up for our jobs, we stand up for our patients.

go to the bathroom! During my days at Toronto General in the ’90s, the staffing norm was to have three

Attention Hospital Early Retirees!

nurses assigned to an OR. However, it was

Are you an early retire between the ages of 60 and 64, who worked at a hospital covered

a time of cutbacks, and the administration

under ONA’s central collective agreement?

reduced us to 2.5 nurses per room. The Re-

If so, the Ontario Hospital Association (OHA) has a dental plan for you and your eli-

source Person (RP) had to alternate between

gible dependents. The cost of the plan is shared between the OHA (75 per cent) and the

several ORs! This was a time when we were

individual retiree (25 per cent). You must be a full-time nurse who retired on or after

faced with an explosion in new technology,

April 1, 2008 from a participating hospital.

and as a result, instead of starting to operate

For specific details about the plan, including monthly costs, log onto the ONA website

at 8 a.m. sharp, start times were delayed, af-

at www.ona.org, click on “Member Services” at the top, “ONA Insurance” and then “OHA

fecting the rest of the surgery scheduled for

Dental Plan for Early Retirees.”

DECEMBER 2010

11


ONA News

ONA Lifts Censure of Niagara Health System The ONA Board of Directors has removed its seven-year nursing censure of the Niagara Health System (NHS) as a result of an improved labour relations climate. In recent years, efforts have been made by the hospital, which ONA has censured since February 2003, to dramatically reduce the number of labour grievances filed and address outstanding ones. NHS employs more than 1,400 RNs across its seven hospital pifer said management will meet with ONA

sites. “We are pleased to see that progress has

officials to prioritize outstanding concerns

been made at NHS, although there are still

and map out measures to resolve them, add-

significant issues to be addressed,” said ONA

ing that the lifting of the censure is “very wel-

President Linda Haslam-Stroud. “Our Bar-

come news.”

ONA leaders, members and staff hold an information picket outside the St. Catharine’s site of NHS in June 2007 to protest serious workload issues, which are now being addressed.

gaining Unit leaders are looking forward to working with NHS management on any outstanding issues to continue to build a productive working relationship to the benefit of NHS patients and registered nurses.” NHS President and CEO Debbie Seven-

ONA all a Twitter! In keeping with the times, ONA has launched a Twitter account, OntarioNurses. Members who use Twitter – a social networking and microblogging service

Introducing the 2011 ONA Board… The televote 2010 results are in!

that enables its users to send and read

Following a vote via telephone, which took place this fall, incumbent Dianne Leclair was

brief messages known as “tweets” – are

elected Vice-President for Region 4. Candidates in regions 1, 2, 3 and 5 were acclaimed,

encouraged to follow the OntarioNurses

meaning no election was necessary for their positions.

account to get the latest tweets about our union activities from the Communications and Government Relations Team. The OntarioNurses Twitter feed has been embedded in the “Media Room” section of the ONA website at www.ona.org.

The Board for 2011 is as follows: • President: Linda Haslam-Stroud.

• Region 3: Andy Summers.

• First Vice-President: Vicki McKenna.

• Region 4: Dianne Leclair.

• Region 1: Diane Parker.

• Region 5: Karen Bertrand.

• Region 2: Anne Clark.

There is also a link to follow ONA on Twit-

Thanks to the candidates for allowing their name to stand and to those in Region 4 who

ter in the footer throughout the website.

exercised your democratic right to vote in this important election.

12

DECEMBER 2010


Celebrating our Staff At a special celebration on September 15, 2010, ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, CEO Lesley Bell and other members of the Board of Directors recognized and acknowledged long-service staff for 2010, who have contributed so much to making our union strong, efficient and effective. Pictured are (back row, left to right): Ralph MacKay, Mary Allen, Mark Miller, Doug Anderson, Bell, Haslam-Stroud, David Nicholson, Shalom Schachter, John D’Orsay, Linda Barlow, Jennie Critchley-Pineo. Middle row (left to right): Brenda Tursa, Dora Kislenko, Dave Laxdal, Tom Thibault, Judy McIllwaine, Sheri Street, Karen Todkill, Tricia Sadoway, Nicole Butt, Susan Barruch, Alfred Yim. Front row (left to right): Barb Conlon, Colleen Ionson, Carmel Perry, Valerie MacDonald, Donna Hicks, Kathi Snell, Sharon Robinson, Ester Gagliano, Judy Burns. Missing: Linda Gosselin, Jeff Sprague, Patricia Carr, Daniel Renaud, Sophia Ruddock, Pat Caldwell, Jill Allingham, Dawn Caille, Rob Dobrucki, Randy Hall, Tom Szuty, Gayle Thomson, Enid Mitchell.

In this regular series, we briefly highlight some of the areas where ONA has made a real difference, not just to the working lives of our members, but to the care of our patients/ clients/residents.

Thanks to ONA . . . The Year was 1983: Community health nurses come to the forefront as ONA spearheads establishment of a Community Health Nurses Steering Committee, with representatives from various organizations, such as the College of Nurses of Ontario, Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario and the Victorian Order of Nurses. The committee coordinated a variety of activities to enhance both the quality and the image of community health nursing in Ontario. Objectives included: promoting community health nursing achievements; facilitating the establishment of a pilot project in community health; and encouraging ongoing communication between community health nursing groups.

DECEMBER 2010

13


ONA News

News in Brief E After three years of denial, the federal government has acknowl-

bringing an estimated $500-million a year to the provincial treasury. The move would have been the first of its kind in Canada and, many argue, a violation of the Canada Health Act.

edged that it discriminated against 450 nurses who determine the

Counterparts

eligibility of applicants for Canada Pension Plan disability benefits. In 2007, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered the government to stop discrimination against the nurses, who are paid half as much as a male-dominated group of doctors who do essentially the same work. The government asked the Federal Court to quash that decision, but last May, the court upheld the tribunal. The government appealed, but dropped that appeal in September. Those nurses and the Canadian Human Rights Commission have now filed for a judicial review of the 2009 tribunal decision that declined to order the government to compensate nurses for the discrimination, which dates back to 1978. As well, the nurses’ lawyer has sent government lawyers a motion holding Treasury Board President Stockwell Day in contempt of court for failing to take steps to remedy the discrimination.

E EHealth Ontario is promising that electronic health records will be in place for all residents within five years. More than 5,300 doctors have been given funding to use electronic medical records and by 2012, eHealth says 9,000 community physicians will have electronic medical records for 10-million of their patients.

E After a year of tough negotiations, Quebec’s largest nurses’ union has won important gains in a five-year agreement reached with the provincial government, including an annual 3.45 per cent pay increase for shift work. Nurses working regular day shifts in CLSC (local community service centres) and other public institutions will receive a two per cent pay increase per year. The 58,000 members of the Federation interprofessionelle de la santé du Quebec also negotiated shift premium increases of up to 14 per cent an hour for working nights or on units with increased responsibility, such as critical care. As well, the nurses received a commitment from the government to reduce by 40 per cent before 2015 the number of nurses from private agencies.

E The Manitoba Nurses Union (MNU) says the provincial government’s pledge to place more nurse practitioners on the front lines of health care is a positive step for patients. In November, the Manitoba govern-

E An internal government audit has found that Canada’s public

ment stated in its throne speech it would set up “quick care clinics

health agency, tasked with providing leadership in managing pub-

staffed by nurse practitioners” to improve the health care system.

lic health emergencies such as pandemics, is unprepared. The audit,

While details were vague, MNU President Sandi Mowat said the

which occurred between February and June 2010, is highly critical

commitment seems to recognize the role specialized nurses play

of the Public Health Agency of Canada, finding it lacks a compre-

in delivering primary health care and that’s good for patients. Cur-

hensive risk-management plan; tends to assess emergency risk in

rently in Manitoba, there are fewer than 100 nurse practitioners.

an ad hoc and reactive fashion; doesn’t have enough surge-capacity of employees when an emergency occurs; isn’t training its workers well enough nor finding ways to learn lessons from certain emergencies; and needs to review its massive stockpile of emergency supplies.

E Quebec has dropped its controversial plan

E Members of the Prince Edward Is-

land Nurses Union (PEINU) are calling on the government to slow down implementation of a new model of care in hospitals that it says is resulting in registered nurse positions being eliminated while more nursing work is done by licensed practical nurses and

to introduce health care user fees. The Cha-

others. “Registered nurses are currently being faced with signifi-

rest government announced the move in

cant changes with this new implementation of model of care,”

its budget last year to help trim the pro-

PEINU President Mona O’Shea said, adding that nurses are con-

vincial deficit. Quebec would have charged

cerned they may need extra training to be part of the model, and

taxpayers a $200 a year health premium, plus

patients will need more education on who they’ll be seeing at the

another small fee for each hospital visit,

bedside.

14

DECEMBER 2010


Voluntary Benefits

Recent Studies E The number of men in nursing schools in the United States has grown to nearly 10 per cent, and is significantly higher at some schools, recent research shows. A survey from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration shows 6.6 per cent of the 3-million nurses in the United States were male, up from 5.8 per cent in 2004.

E Total spending on health care in Canada is expected to reach $191.6-billion this year, growing an estimated $9.5-billion, or 5.2 per cent since 2009, figures from the Canadian Institute for Health Information reveal. This represents an increase of $216 per Canadian, bringing total health expenditure per capita to an estimated $5,614. However, after removing the effects of inflation and population growth, health care spending per person is expected to increase by 1.4 per cent in 2010, the lowest annual growth rate in 13 years.

E Ninety-six per cent of women want dignity and respect from hospital staff, but many aren’t getting it, a survey of 584 Ontario women conducted by Women’s College Hospital in Toronto finds. The survey, which asked women what they envision as the ideal hospital, found that 70 per cent feel rushed through the hospital system, while 65 per cent feel like a number instead of a person. Some respondents said they felt health care providers ignored or judged them for having mental illness, pregnancies, addictions or HIV, were insensitive to cultural holidays, and were ageist. Marilyn Emery, President of Women’s College Hospital, said many of the changes are easy, no-cost fixes because

A Benefit for Everyone, Active or Retired • Long Term Disability • Extended Health Care & Semi–Private Hospital • Dental Care • Critical Illness • Life Insurance • Accidental Death & Dismemberment • MEDOC® Travel Insurance

they require simple adjustments in the language that hospital staff use with patients, for example, not implying a woman has a husband.

E On average, just over 4.2-million employees belonged to a union in Canada during the first half of 2010, up from the same period last year, Stats Canada reports. Union membership rose at a slightly faster pace than total employment, and as a result, the nation’s unionization rate edged up from 29.5 per cent in 2009 to 29.6 per cent in 2010.

E Wait times for nursing home beds have risen by 129 per cent in the past five years, new re-

For more information, contact the ONA Program Administrator: Johnson Inc. 1595 16th Ave., Suite 700 Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3S5 (905) 764.4959 (local) 1.800.461.4155 (toll-free)

search from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and the Ontario Home Care Research network shows. Commissioned by the provincial government, the Aging in Ontario report indicates that the median wait time for placement in a nursing home or home for the aged jumped to 103 days from 45 days between 2004 and 2009.

Critical Illness Survivor Plan is underwritten by Western Life Assurance Company and administered by Johnson Inc. MEDOC® is a registered trademark of Johnson Inc. MEDOC® is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada and is administered by Johnson Inc. Johnson Inc. and Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Company of Canada share common ownership. All other available benefits are underwritten by Manulife Financial and administered by Johnson Inc. Some conditions may apply. LRP.04.09

DECEMBER 2010

15


QUEEN’S PARK Update

E The Ontario government has passed Bill 122, the Broader Public

tion on the proposed regulations recommended that front-line reg-

Sector Accountability Act, which brings in new rules and standards

istered nurses be represented on Quality Committees. In addition,

for hospitals, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) and the

we recommended it is inappropriate to transfer any functions of a

broader public sector regarding the use of external lobbyists,

Ministry to the Ontario Health Quality Council simply through an

consultants and expenses. In addition, Bill 122 will:

agreement with the Minister, and without public consultation. Fi-

• Expand Freedom of Information legislation to cover hospitals.

nally, we expressed our concerns that the expanded mandate for

• Require hospitals and LHINs to post expenses of senior

the Ontario Health Quality Council may justify delisting of needed

executives online and report annually on their use of

health services that are currently funded by the government and

consultants.

covered by OHIP, and recommended at least one registered nurse

ONA’s submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy

be appointed to the Council. To read ONA’s submission on the pro-

regarding Bill 122 made recommendations in three broad areas:

posed regulation under the Excellent Care for All Act, log onto our

1. Expand health sector organizations subject to the Freedom of

website at www.ona.org, click on “Political Action,” then “Submis-

Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

sions to Government.”

2. Correct anomalies in the criteria for consistent coverage under

E The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced a num-

Bill 122.

ber of initiatives for better access to care. Nurse-led long-term

3. Eliminate exclusions for boards of public health and long-term

care outreach teams were launched in 2008 as part of the Ontario

care homes from coverage under Bill 122.

government’s plans to reduce ER wait times in Ontario. Currently,

To read ONA’s submission on Bill 122, log onto our website at

16 nurse-led outreach teams are operating across Ontario. As an

www.ona.org, click on “Political Action,” then “Submissions to Gov-

example, $580,000 has been invested in nurse-led outreach teams

ernment.”

in the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN in 2010/11. As well, the new

E The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has proposed new

Lakehead nurse practitioner-led clinic in Thunder Bay opened

regulations under the Excellent Care for All Act regarding the com-

with four nurse practitioners on staff. This new clinic is one of 25

position of hospital Quality Committees, and the functions of the

nurse practitioner-led clinics that the province will open by the

Ontario Health Quality Council. ONA’s submission to the consulta-

end of 2012.

CFNU News

COALITION

for Gun Control / pour le contrôle des armes  

www.guncontrol.ca

E IN RECOGNITION OF THE NATIONAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE   and Action on Violence Against Women on December 6, 2010, the    Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) is urging friends of    

the Coalition for Gun Control to defend Canada’s gun law, after    

the federal government was almost successful in ending the reg-    

istration of rifles and shotguns this past September. Twenty-one   years have passed since a man with a legally owned assault rifle    

killed 14 young women and injured 27 in just 22 minutes at Mon-    

treal’s École Polytechnique. The coalition is asking Canadians to    

take five actions, including distributing a handout as a reminder   of the importance of preserving Canada’s gun control gains, and    contacting your MP and encouraging others to do so. Effective    

gun control is a step forward in the fight against gender-based    

violence, the coalition states. For more information, log onto the   CFNU’s website at www.cfnu.ca or visit www.guncontrol.ca.

16

DECEMBER 2010

In  22  minutes,  27  people  were  injured  and  14  killed  at  Montreal’s  Ecole  Polytechnique  by  an  unbalanced man armed with a legally acquired Ruger Mini‐14, an assault rifle still sold today as a  non restricted hunting gun.     These  senseless  deaths  triggered  the  Canadian  movement  toward  stronger  gun  control  by  the  families  of  the  Polytechnique  victims,  policing,  domestic  violence  and  public  health  experts,  victims’ advocates, students and thousands of individuals. In 1995, Canada passed the Firearms Act  that requires gun owners to obtain a renewable gun license and register their guns one time.   


not

to m

PROFESSIONAL Practice

i

embec e rs

Propo sed A mend to th ment e s Regis tratio n Regu lation

Changes at the College: What you Need to Know This fall, the College of Nurses of Ontario

situations where judgment is awarded or a

(CNO) sent a notice to its self-regulating mem-

settlement made against a member in excess

bership entitled, Proposed Amendments to the

of the amount of primary insurance coverage

Registration Regulation, which has caused a

from the employer.

great deal of confusion among our members.

The term “personal” was introduced late

We’d like to address your main concerns and

in the legislative process without any dis-

let you how we’re dealing with them.

cussion with ONA. This requirement may be

the previous three years, which is a significant

Recent changes to Bill 179, Regulated

subject to an interpretation that requires all

decrease from the previous timeframe of five

Health Professions Act (RHPA), which received

ONA members to purchase personal, primary

years.

Royal Assent on December 15, 2009, have

insurance, which duplicates the coverage al-

To determine if you are a practicing

prompted the College to review and amend

ready provided by their employers’ primary

nurse, you must ask yourself the following

its Registration Regulation to ensure it is

insurance plan. Not only does this undermine

questions, found in the CNO’s fact sheet, Am I

aligned with legislative requirements. “The

the concept of vicarious liability, it results in

a Practising Nurse?

review process has also been an opportu-

significant increased costs to ONA members

• I apply nursing knowledge, skill and judg-

nity…to assess the entire regulation and

specifically and the health care system gen-

incorporate changes that ensure the Col-

erally, with no additional benefit.

ment in Ontario. • I have a direct or indirect effect on the recipient of a health care service in Ontario.

lege meets its commitment to the public to

The proposal also identifies that the CNO

ensure safe and ethical nursing care,” it said.

will determine the exact timing for when all

If either statement is true, you are consid-

CNO Council approved these changes in De-

practicing nurses who apply for registration

ered “practising.” For RN and RPN applicants,

cember 2009, but cannot enforce them until

must have personal liability insurance. If

evidence of practice in a clinical (at the bed-

amendments to the RHPA are proclaimed by

members randomly audited by the CNO ex-

side) or non-clinical role or an educational

the Lieutenant Governor (at press time, it was

ecutive director can’t show proof, they will

program that includes clinical practice could

not clear when that would take place).

be given notice of an administration suspen-

meet the evidence of practice requirements

The CNO’s amendments affect two key areas:

sion and 30 days to comply. If they don’t, the

under the proposed changes (NPs must pro-

personal liability insurance and the conditions

executive director can administratively sus-

vide evidence of practice in a clinical nature

that members must meet to remain in good

pend the personal certificate of registration.

in the specialty to which they are applying).

standing and continue practising in Ontario.

That suspension can be lifted if insurance is

This additional registration regulation re-

obtained, but we don’t yet know if fines or

quires that all practising members who have

other penalties will incur.

not engaged in clinical practice for a period of

Personal Liability Insurance Of utmost concern to ONA is the change from

At press time, we learned the personal

three or more years not return to clinical prac-

“professional” liability to “personal” liability in-

liability issue has been deferred by the

tice prior to fulfilling certain requirements.

surance coverage. The CNO is proposing that

CNO until sometime next year. The CNO is

Such members will be required to undergo

each member of a provincial professional col-

seeking clarity on how the insurance will be

an assessment and complete any required re-

lege must be personally insured against pro-

administered and who the providers will be.

mediation or continuing education if required

fessional liability. The proposal reflects that

Once passed by the CNO Council, the gov-

before returning to clinical practice.

nurse practitioners (NPs) must carry $5-mil-

ernment is required to proclaim the regula-

lion of coverage; for RNs/RPNs, it is $1-million.

tion changes to commence at the earliest for

What ONA is Doing

the 2012 registration year.

On the personal liability front, we have met

Currently, ONA members are covered

with Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

by their employers (vicarious liability). In the case of hospitals, this insurance gener-

Registration Regulation

representatives and the CNO to outline our

ally covers claims to the level of $15-million

Another important amendment is that appli-

concerns and explain that we believe the ma-

to $20-million. In addition, since 1992, we

cants for registration and reinstatement with

jority of ONA members have adequate per-

have provided an additional layer of protec-

the CNO will now be required to show evi-

sonal liability coverage through their employ-

tion through ONA Liability Insurance Ltd. for

dence of practice as an RN, RPN or NP within

ers and our excess

continues on next page 

DECEMBER 2010

17


STUDENT Affiliation  continues from previous page

Changes at the College: What you Need to Know plan. We asked the Ministry for confirma-

“Students really look up to ONA members and turn to them for support”

A Chat with CNSA’s Ontario Regional Director

tion that there is no plan to proclaim the amendment into law until further consideration can be given to its impact, and

In April 2010, Jamie Kyriacou, a third-year

additional discussions with ONA can take

nursing student from Laurentian University in

place. We will continue to apply pressure

Sudbury, became the Ontario Regional Director

on and liaise with the government to be

of the Canadian Nursing Students’ Association

sure ONA members’ concerns are heard

(CNSA). Front Lines wanted to know what ONA’s

loud and clear.

student affiliation means to her, what it’s like

While we are pleased the CNO has

to be a young nursing student and what goals

deferred its amendment on personal li-

she has set for herself.

ability, we also want its membership to be informed they will not be required to provide proof of insurance until the government amendment is proclaimed. As for the clinical and non-clinical practice registration regulation, we are meeting with the CNO to discuss the implementation and implications on ONA members and will update you as information is available.

How You Can Help The implications of these changes are significant for our members, and although

Front Lines: Why did you choose nursing as a career? Jamie Kyriacou: I initially decided to pursue nursing because of my late grandmother’s experience during her many hospital stays. My family and I were incredibly appreciative of the excellent care she received by the nursing staff at various facilities. Most were passionate, empathetic, and nurturing – making her last few years as comfortable as they could have been under the circumstances. My experience with various nurses during that time really resonated with me. I felt a strong sense of belonging while around them and realized very quickly that this was a role that was no less than perfect for me. Knowing that each day I will have the ability to make a lasting impact on patients’ lives brings me great satisfaction. I really can’t think of anything more rewarding than helping others during their time of need.

we have been given a slight reprieve on

FL: Why did you want to become Ontario Regional Director of the CNSA?

personal liability, we need to keep up the

JK: I was drawn to CNSA when I read about the many accomplishments and future goals of

pressure. Read the CNO publications when

this important organization. CNSA plays a vital role in representing the Canadian nursing

circulated, be informed, ask questions and

profession. I wanted to do my part in representing my fellow nursing students to better the

educate yourself! Talk to your local MPPs

future of the nursing profession for all of us.

about our concerns, and join our letterwriting campaign to the CNO on personal liability. For more information, see the CEO’s column on page 5 of this issue and log onto the homepage of our website at www.ona.org. Let’s ensure that our plan protects you now and in the future! ONA will continue to keep you updated on

FL: What does your role entail? JK: As the official voice of nursing students, it is my job to find out and understand what issues the student nursing body faces, and to bring those issues to the attention of CNSA. We then collectively try to resolve them. As well, I make students aware of nursing events, workshops, and additional educational opportunities taking place. I am also responsible for continuously engaging and welcoming members into the association. In addition, I collaborate with various nursing associations to discuss the many issues affecting current and future nurses and the impact these issues will have on nursing students.

this issue on our website and in future is-

FL: What do you hope to achieve during your tenure?

sues of Front Lines. The CNO documents

JK: First and foremost, I hope to successfully advocate on behalf of the greater Ontario

discussed can be found at www.cno.org.

nursing student body on critical issues that we are currently facing in both the school

18

DECEMBER 2010


and clinical setting. I hope that I can make a

months, and although the transition wasn’t

bers. ONA members can share their years of

small difference for the future of nurses, and

an easy one, I am now well-adjusted in my

wisdom and their many experiences so that

be able to engage and welcome new schools

role and look forward to what the rest of my

students can learn from them and become

as members of CNSA. I would like to get to

tenure holds for me.

well-rounded professionals. ONA members

know as many of my fellow nursing students as possible to get a comprehensive understanding of what their needs are. Finally, I would like to become well acquainted with

FL: How important is the ONA student affiliation membership to you? JK: ONA is a consistent supporter of nurs-

offer invaluable support to student nurses and play a big role in teaching the rights of nurses. They are great mentors as well.

ing students. The organization works hard

FL: How can ONA members foster and

to try and get more students involved and is

nurture the nurses of tomorrow?

always open to listening to their comments

JK: ONA members can nurture students by

and suggestions. We students really look up

providing us with the strong support they al-

to all ONA members and turn to them for

ready do. By continuing to advocate for stu-

FL: How do you balance your studies with

support. ONA has achieved great things and

dents and educating us the way they have up

your obligations as regional director?

is really committed to nurses everywhere.

until now, ONA members are playing a vital

JK: In the beginning, this was a difficult task.

One very important skill that ONA teaches

role in nurturing nursing students to be the

There just didn’t seem to be enough hours

student nurses is how to advocate for our-

best that they can be in their chosen profes-

in the day. I suffered many sleepless nights

selves, which not only benefits us today,

sions.

and enjoyed an overabundance of caffeine

but will continue to do so in the future and

in an attempt to stay on top of everything!

throughout our nursing careers.

as many nurses and nursing professionals as I can to create a solid network of individuals that can assist nursing students in resolving the issues they currently face.

But I learned quickly that being organized was absolutely crucial. This role has really allowed me to hone my organizational, multitasking and time-management skills. It has been a great learning experience for me, and frankly I think I still have much more to learn. The support of my family, friends and professors also assisted me through the first few

FL: Where do you hope your nursing career will take you?

FL: What do you think ONA members and

JK: That is a difficult question. I really don’t

students can learn from each other?

know where I want to end up, but I am look-

JK: Today’s nursing students are constantly

ing forward to the ride. I really do enjoy the

learning about new methods of care, innova-

Cardiology Unit and hope to commence my

tive ways to use their skills and how to use

practice there. I do, however, hope that I will

technological advancements in the hospital

be able to continue advocating for current

setting. These are some of the insights that

and future nurses throughout my entire pro-

student nurses can share with ONA mem-

fessional career.

OFL News E The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) and its affiliates, including ONA, are applauding the news that Metron Construction Corporation, its owner Joel Swartz and others associated with the company will be prosecuted under the Criminal Code of Canada for criminal negligence in the deaths of four migrant workers, who fell 13 storeys when their scaffolding broke in half last Christmas Eve. This is the first prosecution in Ontario under the Criminal Code provision known as C-45. Unlike the Occupational Health and Safety Act, criminal code sentences do not place any maximum

waiting for,” said OFL President Sid Ryan. “It says to every CEO and

on financial penalties, and individuals found guilty can receive

manager that workers’ deaths are serious matters with real penal-

life sentences of up to 20 years. Since the passage of C-45, more

ties attached and that they had better take safety seriously.” The

than 400 Ontario workers have been killed at work and more than

OFL’s “Kill a Worker, Go to Jail” campaign was the result of public

1.5-million workers injured, yet no prosecutions had taken place

outrage by the deaths of the migrant workers. For more informa-

in Ontario. “This is the signal to employers that we have been

tion about the campaign, log on to www.ofl.ca.

DECEMBER 2010

19


EDUCATION Members of ONA’s Provincial Education Coordination Team help delegates at the Biennial Convention this past November set up their eLearning accounts so they can access free ONA education programs at anytime from anywhere. Setting up an account is fast and easy and we encourage all ONA members to do so.

Bringing Education Right into Your Home

The Formal Launch of ONA’s eLearning Platform ONA members and student affiliates can now

The challenge now is to get all ONA mem-

access our vast array of education programs

bers to access the education programs that

ONA education courses are informative,

from the comfort of your own home, at your

are available on our website. You can create

interesting and innovative. And now, they

own pace and time, and at absolutely no cost!

your own eLearning account by following

are easier than ever to access. Sign up today!

the simple instructions on this page.

The 2010 Biennial Convention saw the launch of ONA’s eLearning Platform, which provides online education on a broad array of high priority labour relations topics, such

Setting Up Your eLearning Account

as the Professional Responsibility Workload

Step 1: Go to the eLearning website at www.ona.org.

Reporting Process.

Step 2: Choose “New to eLearning” on the left-hand side.

We are proud to say that more than 550

Step 3: You will see a list of the minimum requirements to use the eLearning website.

members who were in attendance stopped

Follow the instructions to download or update any programs you might need

by the Provincial Education Coordination

to meet the requirements, then click on the link that asks you to continue to

Team booth in the Exhibit Hall to open their

“ONA eLearning.”

eLeaning accounts, thereby entering their

Step 4: Click on the “create new account” button on the right-hand side of the page

name in a draw for a laptop computer (the

and follow the instructions to create your username and password for the

lucky winners were Chris Walker, Hamilton, Local 75; Terese Lago, St. Catharines, Local 26; and Haldi Wicke, Tavistock, Local 21). On average it took only three minutes for a member to create her or his account.

20

DECEMBER 2010

eLearning website. Step 5: Enjoy your experience! If you’ve followed the instructions and still have challenges in creating an account, visit www.ona.org/education/elearning.html or e-mail elearningenquiries@ona.org.


HUMAN RIGHTS and Equity “I needed to give back”

Developing and Sharing Leadership Skills: A Personal Success Story “I was thrilled to be chosen,” she said. ““I

pant, whom she met during the LDP gather-

learned so many valuable tools at the LDP that

ing in Toronto and has spoken to at least 10

help with my leadership role. It taught me as-

times as part of the mentoring relationship.

sertiveness, standing up for what I believe in,

“I was blessed to have the opportunity

effective communications and working with

to go through the LDP myself,” she said. “It

other personality types. I gained confidence

would have been selfish to hold back what

and made friends, whom I network with to-

I learned there and not give back to others.”

day. I will always use the skills I learned during the program and am, in fact, still learning.”

As 2010 comes to a close, Probst is set to take on yet another ONA adventure: health

Part of that learning has been continu-

and safety rep for her Local, which also car-

One ONA unit representative has taken the

ing with the readings she had undertaken

ries the human rights and equity portfolio.

information gained from ONA’s vast array of

as “homework” assignments during the LDP

This came about after Local 83 Coordinator

human rights and equity programs and ini-

on active listening and communication skills,

Frances Smith – whom Probst considers a

tiatives to not only further develop her own

which she said are essential for effective

mentor, along with fellow Local 83 member

leadership skills, but to give back to others.

leadership.

Eric Drouin – said she saw potential in her

Local 83’s Mireille Probst, who has worked

“I was absolutely impressed at how you

and calmed her fears of failure. While Probst

full-time at the General Campus of the Ottawa

can break communications down,” she said.

isn’t sure what to expect of this new role, she

Hospital since 1999, has always been involved

“It’s not just about the message that’s carried,

said she’s ready and excited to take it on.

in our union, but after seeing breaches in

it’s how you carry it. I am much more aware

“I have been reading up on the Occupa-

members’ rights, including harassment, and

of body language now because that sends a

tional Health and Safety Act, and have a good

going through a difficult grievance process

clear message.”

understanding of Ministry of Labour issues,”

herself involving accommodation for a work-

And she has imparted that valuable in-

she said, adding that being a certified mem-

place injury, she decided to go for a leadership

formation onto others, starting with ONA’s

ber of her Joint Health and Safety Commit-

role when a position became available.

Alliance of Human Rights and Equity Reps

tee, having gone through a return-to-work

“I told my members I wanted to be their

Working Group, aimed at strengthening rep-

grievance, and taking ONA health and safety

union rep if they’d have me,” said Probst, who

resentation in the area of human rights and

workshops will certainly help. “I am also look-

graduated from La Cité collégiale School of

equity through the sharing of experiences,

ing forward to the human rights and equity

Nursing in Ottawa in 1995. “Early in life I felt a

which she joined in 2008.

component of it.”

need to fight for the little guy against injustice.”

“I took away a lot of information from the

And Probst isn’t ruling out a possible stint

While her position has certainly enabled

monthly meetings of that group and held

on ONA’s Human Rights and Equity Team in

her to do that, Probst felt she could better rep-

open discussions with my colleagues about

the future, as a member of the Francophone

resent her members if she continued to work

the issues that were brought up in a general

designated group. But with a full-time job,

on her leadership skills. So when she saw an

sense, keeping everything confidential,” she

several union roles, and an expanding family,

insert in a 2007 issue of Front Lines calling

said. “It was extremely valuable to me.”

how does she manage it all?

for participants for our first-ever Leadership

But it hasn’t ended there. In late 2009,

“I don’t know how I have the time to

Development Program (LDP), designed to

Probst, who has taken about a dozen ONA

make it happen, but I do,” she concluded. “My

enhance the leadership skills of women from

workshops to assist her leadership role, was

husband is a pillar of strength for me and my

ONA’s designated groups who have tradition-

asked to serve as a mentor for our second

family and colleagues are extremely support-

ally been underrepresented in leadership

LDP. She readily agreed, subsequently pass-

ive. I have been so blessed in life and with

roles, she immediately put her name forward.

ing her leadership knowledge to a partici-

ONA that I needed to give back.”

DECEMBER 2010

21


AWARDS AND DECISIONS: The Work of our Union! The following is a sampling of recent key awards and/or decisions in one or more of the following areas: rights arbitration, interest arbitration, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), Long-Term Disability (LTD) and Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Rights

Providing reduced benefits to nurses over age 65 constitutes age discrimination, but is permissible under the Charter ONA & Municipality of Chatham Kent (B. Etherington, October 31, 2010)

This grievance involves a challenge to the constitutionality of new language in the 2008 collective agreement at the Chatham Kent Health Unit. The new provision excludes members age 65 and older from long-term disability (LTD) and Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit coverage, and pro-

Violent attack makes worker unemployable with Loss of Earnings and other benefits until age 65 vides them with reduced life insurance and sick pay benefits. The grievance was brought on behalf of two members who were over age 65. ONA argued that this violated the nurses’ Charter rights on the basis of age discrimination. The government intervened in the arbitration, as ONA was also challenging provisions in the Employment Standards Act (ESA) that permitted distinctions in benefits for nurses over age 65. The arbitrator agreed with ONA’s argument that the collective agreement language and the ESA were contrary to section 15 of the Charter. The arbitrator concluded, however, that these breaches were permitted by section 1 of the Charter, which allows violations that are considered to be “reasonable limits prescribed by law, as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.” In coming to this conclusion, the arbitrator considered that the purpose of permitting differential benefits to older workers was to balance the interest of permitting employees to work beyond age 65 without unduly burdening employers with the high cost of providing benefits to this group, thus jeopardizing the level of benefits to other groups of workers. Although the final decision is disappointing, ONA is pleased that the arbitrator ruled that providing reduced benefits to nurses over age 65 is discriminatory. That aspect of the ruling will be extremely helpful in advancing the rights of ONA members over age 65 across the province.

22

DECEMBER 2010

WSIB West Hospital (September 8, 2010)

This nurse worked on a psychiatry ward where, in 2005, she was attacked by a patient who smashed her head against the wall. With the assistance of another patient, she broke free only to be grabbed again by her hair. The patient put his arm around her throat and she was sure she was about to be killed. She sustained numerous soft tissue injuries and developed a secondary illness as a result of this attack – Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The nurse attempted to return to work, accommodated for her disability, but the duties and attitude of the employer caused an exacerbation of her PTSD and she went off work again with WSIB benefits. After additional treatment, WSIB decided she again had to return to work. After several challenging, stressful return to work meetings, the employer gave the nurse a “porter” assignment. With another exacerbation of her PTSD, supported with definitive medical from all her treating health care providers, she became too ill to work. A WSIB appeals officer ordered Loss of Earnings (LOE) benefits be re-instated for a period of time. When that period ceased, WSIB ignored all the mounting medical information and again denied ongoing WSIB benefits. ONA launched yet another appeal to WSIB. Given her injury and “the current employment barriers,” this nurse was, unfortunately, finally deemed “unemployable.” She was awarded ongoing LOE and other benefits until age 65.


Importance for ONA: This case demonstrates the value of engaging ONA assistance to gather necessary medical and other information, and persist with WSIB. While this was a “win” of benefits, this case also demonstrates the dangerous nature of our members’ work, the need for violence prevention measures and enforcement, and how return to work efforts that do not incorporate attention to the worker’s psychological safety, can actually make a bad situation worse.

LTD

Thorough challenge by ONA wins benefits for multiple disabilities Hospital, Region 5 (August 18, 2010)

A member stopped working in August 2007 because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, fibromyalgia, severe headaches and depression/ anxiety. The carrier terminated payment of benefits at the change of definition. The carrier acknowledged her symptoms, but concluded that they did not render her disabled from any occupation. It provided her with rehabilitation to facilitate her return to work, and counseling to learn to cope with her pain and disability. These strategies did not work for her because her inability to cope was part of her physical and mental conditions. Exit reports from rehab and physiotherapy documented this and her lack of progress towards recovery. The carrier also had video footage of her doing light gardening and cleaning at her trailer site for “prolonged” periods, which the Labour Relations Officer found were only 22 seconds to eight minutes. The appeal provided two new reports. It challenged the carrier’s video data, transferable skills analysis, and much of its reasoning. The appeal won full retroactive benefits for the member. The member continues under medical care and takes many pain medications; she is also dealing with issues arising from her heavy medication usage.

DECEMBER 2010

23


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Front Lines December 2010