I'm a nurse who works in one of three municiply run LTC facilities. A few years ago our city council decided to divest themselves of two of their LTC facilities. Their primary arguement was that under legislation, they are not obligated to have more than one facility. These two facilities are scheduled to close in a couple of years and these residents transfered to another facility run by a different organization.
A few months ago, city council decided to demote several nurses down to lower paid nursing aides in an attempt to further save money.
Over the past few years I have sent numerous letters and e-mails to our union officials both here locally and to the national office, indicating everything that is and has been transpiring in these three facilities is 100% discrimination against women. The basis of my arguments are as follows:
1) This municipality has other departments which include police & fire departments, transit, garbage collection, etc. These three LTC facilities are not entities unto themselves, but rather part of the same corporation as the other departments.
2) Both police and fire departments are 100% full time employment, while these three LTC facilities are approximately 70% part time.
3) Under legislation this municipality is not obligated to have its own police force. They can contract this out to the provincial police. Yet they choose to have their own police force.
4) Many believe that this municipality would never demote a bunch of police seargents down to constables in order to save money, yet they decided to demote a bunch of nurses.
5) Both Police & Fire depratments are male dominated work forces, while the three LTC facilities are female dominated.
6) Both Police & Fire, as well as the three LTC facilities, are considered "essential services", which means they are unable to strike.
My latest e-mail to our union officials included a link from another union in this country that launched a radio commercial to educate the public about their members who are being treated like second class citizens. That commercial can be heard here: http://www.opseu.org/bps/health/hosp...sh%2030sec.mp3
This is what I had suggested for our union to do on a number of occaisons a few years ago, when city council was debating the issue of divesting themselves of two of their LTC Facilities. This was to issue an ultimatum to our local city council to end their ongoing acts of discrimination towrds the staff at these three LTC facilities, or the union would launch a nationwide education campaign, educating the country of how this council treats their female dominated workforce. Our union routinely dismissed the idea. Once I heard this commercial about a month ago, I once again pushed the idea based on the fact that if this particular union (OPSEU) can do it, there's absolutely no excuse why our union couldn't do the same. I indicated that the union's ultimatum needs to include a reversal of city councils decision on their divesting of the two LTC facilities and the imediate reversal of the demotion of these nurses. Today I got the union's response (which took nearly a month) which reads: In regards to your correspondence we have met numerous times and have discussed your concerns as outlined in your email. If you have further issues please donít hesitate to contact me as I would be happy to arrange a meeting to discuss the merits of your arguments. Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.
So, I guess the nearly quarter of a million dollars that the workers (including nurses) at these three LTC facilities pay every year isn't good enough. So you nurses who are considering joining a union, look very carefully at their track record. The unfortunate reality is that there are many unions out there who veiw nurses and other health care workers as nothing more than a bunch of women and therefore not a priority, other than a steady cashflow to line their fat pockets.
Oh and by the way, the demotion of these nurses proceeded as planned.