Energy professionals back call to end nurse cuts in Ontario

TORONTO, March 19, 2014 /CNW/ - This afternoon, The Society of Energy Professionals' members will join the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) outside Queen's Park to rally for an end to nurse cuts in Ontario.

The noon rally will call attention to the fact that Ontario has cut 1,000 nurses from Ontario communities since 2012.

"Nurses are critically important to the health of the communities our members live in," said Society of Energy Professionals ("The Society") president Scott Travers. "The health of our members, their families, and their communities is far more valuable than the pittance saved through austerity in the health care system."

"If anything, as Ontario's population increases and ages, we need more nurses."

Cuts to registered nurses (RNs) are the consequence of years of hospital funding lagging behind the rate of inflation and population growth. To pinch pennies, hospitals have turned to under-qualified workers and forced existing workers to take on excessive workloads. These measures mean there are 1,000 fewer nurses in our communities now than there were in 2012. With just seven RNs per 1,000 residents, Ontario has the second-lowest number of nurses per capita in Canada.

The Society joins ONA in calling for the government to:

1. Increase base funding for hospitals

2. Call a moratorium on any further cuts to RNs

3. Implement a multi-year action plan to hire and maintain RN positions in all health care sectors.

"The Society will stand shoulder to shoulder with ONA until the government gives Ontarians the nurses we need," concluded Travers.

The Society of Energy Professionals represents 8,000 knowledge workers and supervisors employed by 13 employers that are responsible for the generation, transmission and regulation of energy in Ontario in both the broader public and private sectors.

SOURCE The Society of Energy Professionals

For further information: Scott Travers, President, Society of Energy Professionals: (416) 729-8818, traverss@thesociety.ca; Adam Chaleff-Freudenthaler, Communications Officer, Society of Energy Professionals: (647) 500-2394, adam@thesociety.ca