Union allows discrimination against nurses

  1. 1
    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:


    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.
    Jarnaes likes this.

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 23 Comments...

  3. 2
    Are you telling us that RNs were demoted and their professional body didn't get involved?
    Truth66 and ohmeowzer RN like this.
  4. 1
    Quote from Fiona59
    Are you telling us that RNs were demoted and their professional body didn't get involved?
    that would not make sense!! how can you demote a RN? i read the same thing you did and i'm glad i'm not the only one who read that... ummm i wouldn't stand being demoted.. i agree fiona this makes no sense...
    Truth66 likes this.
  5. 0
    At first I read your post with some confusion - and then I noticed that you are Canadian. I have no idea how to proceed against the Canadian system.

    What a terrible situation. Very unfair, unjust and yet understandable when the government is given too much power.

    For all of our problems in the US healthcare system - thankfully, I think the situation that you describe could not happen here at this time.

    But folks, the times they are a-changing.

    Good Luck.
  6. 0
    Quote from Fiona59
    Are you telling us that RNs were demoted and their professional body didn't get involved?
    The nurses that were demoted are LPN's. The R.N.'s in these three facilities are not represented by the same union. However, they are going to be facing actual layoffs this Fall. Yet, their collective agreement has specific language not to reduce their current numbers any further. During the period of time that this municipality was divesting themselves of the two LTC facilities, the union representing the R.N.'s did virtually nothing.
    It's worth mentioning here that there have been cases over the years where employers (including the one that I work for) have hired both LPN's and RN's as lower paid care aides, knowing full well that these LPN's & RN's are still accountable according to their professional designation. So these employers are getting the so called biggest bang for their buck. In my world, that's pure exploitation, yet this is also allowed by many of these unions that claim to represent nurses and other health care workers.
    Last edit by Truth66 on Jul 28, '09
  7. 1
    I agree with you, sounds like discrimination to me.
    Truth66 likes this.
  8. 0
    Moved to the Canadian forum

    I am surprised that they were able to get away with demoting a LPN to nursing aide and get away with it, I personally would be looking for another job. Yes I know times are rough but loosing my license isn't the answer
  9. 1
    Yeah, it is discrimination. But it's because with nurses, they can get away with it. By the time we go through the union, prof organizations, etc. We're just making it pay check to pay check. Then we don't dare walk. Too bad we don't have some other way to fight back.

    What would the cops do. You said they would not stand for it. Would they quit, protest, go to the union?
    Truth66 likes this.
  10. 0
    Quote from Silverdragon102
    Moved to the Canadian forum

    I am surprised that they were able to get away with demoting a LPN to nursing aide and get away with it, I personally would be looking for another job. Yes I know times are rough but loosing my license isn't the answer
    I see that you moved this thread to the Canadian Forum. Yes I'm Canadian, however I don't think moving this thread is appropriate because of the pure fact that this is an issue that can effect any nurse, regardless of which country they live in. Most countries that I'm aware of have various unions that represent nurses and unfortunately those unions may not be representing nurses properly either.
  11. 2
    So are you telling me that they Demoted Registered Staff: RPN's down to what is basically a Personal Support Worker, or Health Care Aide?

    If so, that seems like somthing that should be deemed as illegal. How can you demote a registered professional down to a position that has nothing to do with their scope of practice, or job description?

    I can see them laying off the RPN's, but demoting them to a PSW, that's 100% wrong, and most likely not even allowed.

    Which city do you live in? Must be a smaller town, this kind of un-professional activity wouldn't fly here in Toronto.
    Truth66 and Fiona59 like this.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors