Registered nurses from Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) Local 8 in Windsor was in the legislature on Monday to give a petition protesting against cuts in the number of registered nurses at Windsor Regional Hospital.
The RNs, members of ONA, was joined by ONA First Vice-President Vicki McKenna, RN and Region 5 Vice-President Karen Bertrand, RN to express their outrage at the announcement of 169 RN cuts to balance a budget shortfall and call for a reversal of the cuts.
“This is Nursing Week in Ontario,” notes ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. “As RNs, we are obliged to fulfil our regulatory requirement to advocate for our patients, and by delivering the message that RN cuts are not supported by the community of Windsor, our front-line RNs are sending the message that the cuts must not be implemented.”
Research has shown that for every extra patient added to an average RN’s workload, patients suffer a seven-per-cent increased risk of complications and even death. Cutting 169 RNs is the equivalent loss of 330,000 hours of hands-on RN care per year for patients.
The Windsor RNs were meeting with members of the NDP caucus and leader Andrea Horwath over the noon hour.
“Nurses know that RN cuts hurt patients,” says Haslam-Stroud. “The public understands this, and supports our dedicated front-line RNs who are being gutted from hospitals as the bottom line takes precedence over safe, quality patient care.”
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. -CNW