Niagara, ON: The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) Board of Directors has removed its nursing censure of the Niagara Health System (NHS) effective today.
Niagara Health System had been censured by ONA since February 2003. Censuring is a mechanism used by ONA to issue a public statement against an employer who, in ONA's view, engages in labour relations or administrative practices that adversely affect nurses or patient care. ONA alerts nursing schools, nursing organizations and the public about difficulties at the censured agency, urging prospective nurses to refuse employment until matters are resolved.
A key factor which contributed to the ONA board's removal of the censure is Niagara Health's improved labour relations climate. In recent years significant efforts have been made by the hospital to address outstanding labour grievances and to dramatically reduce the number of grievances experienced.
- Niagara Health System is Ontario's largest multi-site hospital system. NHS employs more than 1,400 registered nurses across its seven hospital sites.
- ONA is the union representing 55,000 front-line registered nurses and allied health professionals, and more than 12,000 nursing students, working in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health agencies, public health, clinics and industry.
"We are pleased to see that progress has been made at NHS, although there are still significant issues to be addressed," says ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "Our Bargaining Unit leaders are looking forward to working with NHS management on any outstanding issues, and to continue to build a productive working relationship to the benefit of NHS patients and registered nurses."
"Nurses are the frontline of our hospital and ensuring a positive work environment for our nursing staff is vitally important to providing quality patient care and for the recruitment and retention of registered nurses," says Niagara Health System President and CEO Debbie Sevenpifer. "The lifting of the nursing censure is very welcome news, which results from the investment of much time and effort by many individuals. While a great deal of progress has been made, there are a number of issues we must continue to work on with our local ONA representatives. In the next few weeks we will meet ONA officials to prioritize outstanding concerns and map out measures to resolve them."
"Nurses are the frontline of our hospital and ensuring a positive work environment for our nursing staff is vitally important to providing quality patient care and for the recruitment and retention of registered nurses"
President & CEO
Niagara Health System
For more information, media may contact:
Caroline Bourque Wiley
Public Affairs Consultant
905-378-4647, ext. 43113
Ontario Nurses' Association
416-964-8833, ext. 2369