St. Joseph's Healthcare Slashing RN Positions



    TORONTO, July 29 /CNW/ - The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) has been
told by St. Joseph's Healthcare management that it is slashing nine full-time
registered nursing positions, saying they are "surplus."
    ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN, says this is just the latest cuts
of registered nurses in Ontario, a move that makes no sense in view of the
severe nursing shortage and threats to quality patient care.
    "How any hospital in Ontario can consider slashing the number of RN
positions is a mystery," notes Haslam-Stroud. "RNs are in critically short
supply, and to cut them even further is ludicrous. The nine cuts are just the
beginning at St. Joseph's - ONA knows that the hospital is planning a number
of other reductions, which it has yet to share publicly."
    Cuts will spread across many different programs, including geriatrics.
One of ONA's biggest concerns is the reduction of almost 7,300 hours of
nursing care annually for our frail elderly patients.
    The hospital has no intention of following the Collective Agreement,
including the layoff language and plans to force the affected nurses - who
have up to 31 years of seniority - to merely fill vacant positions in the
hospital. Local 75 President Donna Bain, RN, says ONA will file grievances as
the elimination of these positions constitutes improper layoffs.
    "Our patients will lose the quality patient care these experienced RNs
provide," says Bain. "The elimination of these positions equals a reduction of
almost 18,000 hours of nursing care annually. Yet again, an Ontario hospital
is trying to balance its budget on the backs of RNs."
    St. Joseph's vision statement says, 'We will serve all in need of
healing.' Registered nurses can only serve their patients if there are RNs
there to provide quality care.

    ONA is the union representing 54,000 registered nurses and allied health
professionals working in hospitals, long-term care, public health, the
community and industry.
    ONA is celebrating 35 years of nursing advocacy - a proud past, a
powerful future.





For further information:

For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Sheree Bond, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2430, Cellular: (416) 986-8240; Melanie Levenson, (416)
964-8833, ext. 2369


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