Union allows discrimination against nurses Union allows discrimination against nurses | allnurses

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:

    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 don't 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.
  2. 23 Comments

  3. Visit  Fiona59 profile page
    2
    Are you telling us that RNs were demoted and their professional body didn't get involved?
    Truth66 and ohmeowzer RN like this.
  4. Visit  ohmeowzer RN profile page
    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. Visit  NREMT-P/RN profile page
    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. Visit  Truth66 profile page
    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. Visit  oramar profile page
    1
    I agree with you, sounds like discrimination to me.
    Truth66 likes this.
  8. Visit  Silverdragon102 profile page
    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. Visit  Woodenpug profile page
    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. Visit  Truth66 profile page
    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. Visit  2bNurse-88 profile page
    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.
  12. Visit  NotReady4PrimeTime profile page
    1
    You may want to look at the collective agreement in place as it refers to "management rights". There could be a clause like this one from the SEIU Local 902 agreement with the town of Digby, NS:
    b) Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Union agrees that the management of the Employer's operation, including the right to plan, direct and control operations, to make rules and regulations, to direct the working forces, to hire, transfer, classify, discipline (including discharge), promote, demote, and lay off employees, and those matters requiring judgement as to the competency or ability of the employees to perform the work required are the sole and exclusive prerogatives of the Employer subject to the provisions of this Agreement dealing with any of these particular matters. Without restricting the generality of the foregoing, and in addition thereto, the Union agrees that the Employer has the right to study or introduce new or improved methods or facilities, to determine schedules of work, kinds and location of machines, tools and equipment to be used, the control of materials and parts, the extension, limitation, curtailment or cessation of operations in whole or in part, and all other matters concerning the operation of the Employer's business not specifically restricted in this Agreement.
    Or this one between MGEU and Golden Door Geriatric Centre:
    3:01 Except as otherwise specifically provided in this Agreement, the management of the Centre and direction of the work force, including the right to plan, organize, co-ordinate, direct and control the Centre's operations, to hire, promote, demote and transfer; to increase or decrease the work force, to determine the work to be done; to suspend or discharge for just cause; to establish and enforce reasonable rules and regulations towards governing the conduct of employees and towards maintaining order, discipline and efficiency is vested exclusively in the Employer.

    That would be why your union did not do anything about your complaint. That doesn't make it right, but the affected personnel would have the option of resigning rather than accept demotion. The person subsequently hired by the facility would then be reclassified as a nursing assistant and paid accordingly.
    Truth66 likes this.
  13. Visit  Fiona59 profile page
    0
    I thought they could "demote" but not reduce wages?
  14. Visit  Truth66 profile page
    0
    Quote from Nurse-88
    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.
    I'd love to tell you what city I live in. Unfortunately there's a small section in Labour law called duty of fidelity meaning that one has to be loyal to their employer in that they are not allowed to speak out publicly against their employer or it's grounds for termination. I almost lost my job over that one once before. This is why you hear every once in a while about Whistle Blower Protection for employees.
    To be more specific, the employer actually layed off these LPN's/RPN's and under the collective agreement a person can either take the layoff or bump into a lower paid classification, which in this case would be a Care Aide. Yet, the bottom line here is that the employer has demoted these LPN's/RPN's because they are unwilling to pay their full wage and knowing that these LPN's/RPN's are still held accountable to their governing body as LPN's/RPN's. The employer actually tried doing this before and it was challenged under Pay Equity in that the employer couldn't reduce a person's wages as a direct result of Pay Equity. Unfortunately the union is unwilling to challenge this demotion under pay equity either, in spite of the fact that I provided them with the previous documents.

    With regards to language in the collective agreement, there is a section that states "The Union acknowledges that it is the exclusive function of the Corporation: to hire, transfer, promote, demote, lay-off, recall, assign duties, and suspend, discipline or discharge any employee for cause."

    Now whether the collective agreement of the police officers has this language in theirs, I'd have to look it up tomorrow when I'm at work.

    Quite frankly for any union to allow language to exist in a collective agreement about allowing demotion is pathetic representation, especially when it comes to nurses. This is based on the fact of what I've mentioned already. These nurses are still held accountable according to their professional designation by their regulatory body. This is regardless of whether they're employed as a nurse, or as a care aide. If demoted to a care aide, then exploitation!!!!
    Last edit by Truth66 on Jul 28, '09

close
close