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OPSEU “deeply disappointed” with RNAO attack on Registered Practical Nurses

Toronto – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is expressing surprise and disappointment at a position paper of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario that calls for the elimination of Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) from acute care settings in the province’s hospitals.

“Everything about health care these days is based on integrating people with different training into a multi-disciplinary team that meets patient needs in the best way possible,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “For the RNAO to come out and say that RPNs have no place in acute care is not only disappointing but offensive as well.”

OPSEU represents 40,000 Ontario health care workers.

“OPSEU represents Registered Nurses (RNs) and RPNs alike, as well as workers in over 250 other health classifications,” said Barb Deroche, chair of the OPSEU Health Care Divisional Council. “We understand the scope of practice for all the jobs in health care, and the valuable contributions all health care workers make to the well-being of Ontarians.

“We are disappointed that in the current climate of cuts to hospitals, the RNAO report would single out ways to further cut health care workers from the system.”

Thomas called on the RNAO to re-evaluate its position.

“As I said yesterday in my annual statement on Nursing Week, I’m an RPN, and my wife Val is an RN,” he said. “In my family, and in my union, we appreciate the work of all the people working on the frontlines of health care in Ontario.

“I just wish the RNAO did, too.”

For more information:
Warren (Smokey) Thomas 613-329-1931
Barb Deroche 613-876-1738