KINGSTON, ON, June 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Front-line registered nurses and nursing leaders from across Ontario will meet in Kingston this week to discuss RN cuts and threats to patient care during the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) Provincial Coordinators Meeting.
About 200 nurses will attend the event, scheduled for June 11 and 12 at the K-Rock Centre. Many ONA members will also participate in tonight's "The Rich and the Rest of Us" town hall meeting at the Portsmouth Olympic Harbour Sailroom.
"This is a pivotal time for registered nurses and the patients who count on their care," notes ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Hospitals are balancing budgets by cutting RNs, leaving patients with one million less hours of nursing care per year since 2012.
"Corporate greed is reversing any quality of life Ontarians enjoyed, as our health care and social services increasingly suffer," she notes. "RNs care deeply that patients have access to much-needed and valuable care, and are vowing to speak out against attacks on society. We have had enough of the private sector and politicians who are attempting to divide and conquer Ontarians by pitting us against one another - all Ontarians are suffering due to the tax breaks given to those who caused the economic meltdown in the first place. It's time to reverse the trend."
Attacks on unionized nurses and health care will be discussed during the two-day meeting. In addition to hearing updates on RN cuts, which have become increasingly frequent due to the provincial hospital funding freeze, RNs will also hear from featured speakers Sam Hammond, President of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario on Tuesday and Michael Lynk, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law from Western University on Wednesday. In addition, NDP Leader Andrea Horwath will speak to the nurses on Wednesday morning.
During the event, interviews with Haslam-Stroud can be arranged.
ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line RNs, RPNs and allied health professionals and more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.
SOURCE: Ontario Nurses' Association
For further information:
Ontario Nurses' Association
Sheree Bond (416) 964-1979 ext.2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; [email protected]