Union allows discrimination against nurses - page 2

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... Read More

  1. by   2bNurse-88
    Quote from Truth66
    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!!!!
    Well I say you should just cut your loses, and move on.

    It's unfortunate, but in most cases the employer always wins over the employee. I've seen this happen first hand, personal experience.

    I'm sure you'll have no problem finding another job as a REAL NURSE, and not a demoted registered professional.
  2. by   linzz
    Are you in Ontario? From a legal standpoint, fighting this may be difficult but you could report this activity to the RPNAO and they will make it known via website or newsletter that this is going on without tying your name to it. This is turn may cause other nurses to simply not apply there to work and eventually they will find that the word will get out and they will have trouble getting anyone to work there.

    Personally I would not want the elderly in my family at a facility that won't even pay for RPN's to care for them. I am not in favour of medication assistants.
  3. by   Fiona59
    See, Linzz, that's what I just don't understand about the entire scenario.

    Why isn't the Ontario College of Nurses involved in this. I know the Colleges always say deal with the union but when the union and employer is acting against the interests of nurses who are members of the College I don't understand why more hasn't been done about this.
  4. by   Golfenaround
    If your union is not representing you failry, hire your own representation.
    I had accessed Sacks, Goldblatt and Mitchell, they are in Toronto.
    Good luck.
    Hopefully they can represent you or link you to someone who can help.

    All the best.
  5. by   oneLoneNurse
    The union may not have any other choice. Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia laid off all RPNs (unionized) in an attempt to save money about the same time. The system gave many the choice of continuing as PSWs or other employment classifications. Most RPNs chose to continue their employment. Initially, many were upset and angry at the system, but as time has elapsed most have been thankful that they stayed on and kept their seniority. Fact is, in today's economy a job is a job and many would have been giving up years of seniority.

    In moving on from one's position with the present employer, an employee would need to factor in today's employment situation and trends. If an employee quit their position moved on to a new position where they were classified as an RPN, then the new employer moved to the same model (laying off RPNs), they may have made a mistake (lost seniority). Most employers do not make employment decisions on a whim, and I have not met anyone, yet who enjoys firing or laying off employees.

    RPNs being reclassified into lower positions seems to be a trend. I am sorry to see that happen and hope it does not happen to RNs since I am a member of that body. However, it may already have happened. I observed a PSW giving out medications at Kingsway retirement centre in Etobicoke the other day.
  6. by   linzz
    Sorry, wrong post.
    Last edit by linzz on Aug 20, '09
  7. by   justiceforjoy
    They weren't demoted, then. They were laid off from their original jobs and then accepted the company's offers for the CNA jobs.
  8. by   oneLoneNurse
    Yes, I agree, but they kept their seniority.
  9. by   Truth66
    Have my co-workers & I contemplated seeking legal counsel on our own? Yes. Unfortunately the union will block that move because there's language in the collective agreement that states this union will be the exclusive bargaining agent for the members. Have we explored the Human Rights Commission? Yes. Unfortunately a complaint can't be filed with the commission because they will state that as long as one is represented by a union, the complaint has to go through the union.
    With regards to R.N.'s. The employer hasn't demoted any R.N.'s to L.P.N.'s/R.P.N.'s because there's nothing to demote them to. They are in a different union than the L.P.N.'s/R.P.N.'s. The employer is however, looking at reducing the number of R.N.'s this coming Fall. Yet, the employer isn't looking at reducing any police officers, fire fighters, etc., which is the whole point of this thread.
    If these Nursing Homes were an entity unto themselves, the staff would have an easier time accepting the ongoing circumstances in their workplace. Yet, the fact remains that these Nursing Homes are part of the same corporation as Police, Fire, etc..
  10. by   oneLoneNurse
    Agree with what you are stating on this post and others. I recently interviewed in an OPSEU facility. Seemed pretty nice. I wonder which province you are in. I really think nursing is discriminated against because it is female dominated.
  11. by   Woodenpug
    Gee, and I thought unions were such useful and necessary entities(sarcasm intended.) Just as with everyone else, you can do for yourself better, if there was no union.

    Sorry things are so bad. (no sarcasm there.)