WINDSOR, ON, Jan. 18, 2016 /CNW/ - Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) representatives have received formal notice of the Windsor Regional Hospital's massive cuts to its Registered Nurse (RN) staff.
A total of 169 RN positions, including full- and part-time jobs, are being cut. The cuts will affect just about every program by way of direct layoffs, not filling vacant positions, reduction in hours, replacing RNs with Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs), or the closure of full programs.
"It's far worse for our patients than first thought," said Susan Sommerdyk, RN, a clinical practice coordinator who is the ONA Bargaining Unit President for Windsor Regional Hospital.
"Our hospital has an all-RN staff at the Metropolitan campus because of the health-care needs of the patients we serve. The care needs of our patients has and will not change but the numbers of Registered Nurses at the bedside will. The message the employer and government are sending now is that money matters more than evidence or the quality of patient care."
The Windsor Regional Hospital's motto is: Outstanding care, no exceptions. These layoffs will absolutely have a negative impact on patient care, so the hospital's motto should be changed to "Care, with exceptions," said ONA Provincial President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, a renal transplant nurse from Hamilton.
Haslam-Stroud has advised Premier Wynne, and Ministers Hoskins and Sousa that the cuts to RNs must stop ˗ our patients deserve better.
"We're more committed than ever to standing up for the citizens of Windsor and Essex County who deserve to have the best-trained health-care professionals at their bedside," she said. "The research confirms what nurses know ˗ that there is a direct link between cutting Registered Nurses and an increased risk of patients of suffering complications and even death. We need the Ontario government to provide adequate funding to all hospitals so these risky and dangerous Registered Nurse cuts ˗ in Windsor and across the province ˗ will stop."
ONA is the union representing 60,000 registered nurses and allied health professionals, as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
SOURCE Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association: Sheree Bond, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430, cell: (416) 986-8240, firstname.lastname@example.org; Ruth Featherstone, (416) 964-8833, ext. 2267, email@example.com; Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses