Another group of health care professionals have made OPSEU their union of choice. Thirty-six registered nurses and registered practical nurses working for CarePartners in northeastern Ontario voted 96 per cent in favour of joining OPSEU.
CarePartners employs personal support, rehabilitation and nursing services in private homes, as well as long-term care facilities, schools, clinics and workplaces. Our newest members work out of three CarePartners offices in North Bay, Parry Sound and Temiskaming Shores as part of the North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
“I’m not surprised these extremely hardworking nurses wanted to unionize,” said Lucy Morton, chair of OPSEU’s Sector 17, Community Health Care Professionals. “They had absolutely no voice in their workplace and were not consulted on issues even as basic as scheduling. There were also a large number of health and safety issues that management refused to take seriously.”
When asked why the nurses chose OPSEU, Morton said it came down to seeing how hard OPSEU had worked for CarePartners members in Local 294 in Niagara.
“When it came to choosing a union, our reputation, particularly with Niagara CarePartners, had preceded us. There’s nothing like a great track record to predict the future, and that’s why OPSEU was the obvious choice for our folks in northeastern Ontario.”
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas, a registered practical nurse, says the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis is another reason why health care workers should make OPSEU their home.
“When OPSEU speaks, politicians and employers listen,” said Thomas. “Whether it’s lobbying for the health and safety tools that our frontline health care heroes need to do their jobs or influencing decisions aimed at easing the strain on our health facilities, we are a strong, credible and respected voice in the corridors of power.”
“I say to the nurses at CarePartners: ‘You absolutely made the right choice – one that is going to be a game-changer in terms of your working life. Welcome to your new union!’”