TORONTO, April 1, 2014 /CNW/ - The 60,000 registered nurses (RNs), allied health professionals and affiliated nursing students of the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) are saddened to learn of the passing of founding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anne S. Gribben, who died peacefully on March 28, 2014.
"Anne laid the groundwork for a strong collective bargaining system for nurses in Ontario. She was such a guiding light for so many nurses over the years, as a strong advocate for the profession, for women's rights and as a leading voice for a unionized nursing workforce in Ontario," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN.
"Because of her work, ONA is respected by nursing and other health care labour unions across the country, and by nursing organizations around the world, for its advocacy on behalf of RNs and allied health professionals."
ONA, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2013, was formed in October 1973 at a meeting of RNs in downtown Toronto, where independent bargaining units voted to join forces under the ONA banner. The following year, Gribben, formerly the Director of Labour Relations, was named ONA's first CEO.
Under Gribben's guidance, nurses sought and achieved a central collective bargaining process and a landmark professional responsibility clause, which gives nurses a mechanism for dealing with excessive workloads and dangerous working conditions that put patients at risk. In addition, nurses saw considerable improvements in their wages and benefits.
Gribben served as ONA's CEO from 1974 until her retirement in 1986. ONA grew to over 42,000 members during her tenure.
Along with the RNAO and ONA Honorary Life Memberships for her untiring commitment to improve the socio-economic welfare of nurses in Ontario, Gribben also received an Order of Ontario in 1989 for her accomplishments on behalf of the province's nurses.
ONA is the union representing 60,000 RNs, nurse practitioners, registered practical nurses and allied health professionals, as well as nursing student affiliates providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.
A photo of Gribben will be available on The Canadian Press picture wire.
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information: Ontario Nurses' Association, Melanie Levenson, (416) 964-1979 ext.2369, email@example.com; Ken Marciniec, (416) 964-8833 ext.2306, firstname.lastname@example.org; Visit us at: www.ona.org; Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; Twitter.com/OntarioNurses