It has come to our attention that the Hospital has been circumventing both the Local and Central Collective Agreements in order to staff units that are under staffed. Particularly with a) the REASSIGNMENT of nurses and b) circumventing layoff language.
If you have been REASSIGNED as a result of OVER SCHEDULING (including the calling in of extra staff on OT for the purpose of reassigning junior staff) we need to know about it!
If you have been reassigned 2 or more shifts in a row, we need to know about it.
If the Hospital has instructed to SKIP OVER MORE JUNIOR STAFF to reassign you (contrary to the Local Collective Agreement) to avoid reassigning staff 2 shifts in a row, We need to know about it.
Please email me with the dates and the circumstances of your reassignment so that we can review for the purpose of grieving.
I have included both the Local and Central Collective Agreement Information below.
H.18 Reassignment of Nurses
The Hospital and the Union recognize that it is a management right to reassign an employee who is scheduled to work in accordance with the provisions of the Central Collective Agreement. The Hospital and the Union agree to implement the following principles if such reassignment occurs:
(a) Resource Pool nurses.
(b) Employees working on that unit on the shift may volunteer to be reassigned and the most senior volunteer will be reassigned.
(c) Should there be no one who volunteers, reassignments will occur in the following order based upon reverse order of seniority, provided the employee possesses the required skill
- i) Casual;
- ii) Regular part-time and full time combined.
(d) The Hospital will not reassign the permanent Charge Nurse, new employees still in their probationary period or existing employees transferring to a new Unit still in their orientation period.
(e) The reassigned employee will identify, to the Charge Nurse or Nurse in Charge, her/his skills, experience and orientation needs in relation to duties required on the receiving unit.
(f) The reassigned employee will be provided with a resource nurse on the receiving unit and an appropriate patient assignment keeping patient care requirements as a first priority.
(g) The resource nurse will familiarize the reassigned employee to the general functioning of the unit.
(h) An employee from one unit will not be reassigned to allow time off for another employee on another unit. The Union shall be copied on all reassignment guidelines.
As per the Central Collective Agreement:
10.08 Layoff – Definition and Notice
(a) A “Layoff” shall include a reduction in a nurse’s hours of work and cancellation of all or part of a nurse’s scheduled shift.
Cancellation of single or partial shifts will be on the basis of seniority of the nurses on the unit on that shift unless agreed otherwise by the Hospital and the Union in local negotiations.
A partial or single shift reassignment of a nurse from her or his area of assignment will not be considered a layoff. The parties agree that the manner in which such reassignments are made will be determined by local negotiations.
Update January 20, 2021
To All ONA Bargaining Unit Members
As you are aware, KHSC started to receive patient transfers from outside of our region this past weekend as a result of COVID -19 pressures. It is the expectation that the Hospital will receive additional patients from outside our region over the coming days. In order to prepare for increased inpatient and critical care capacity, the Hospital is undertaking a number of initiatives to care for these patients safely- including ensuring that we have sufficient staffing.
The following approach will be undertaken for the interim to support staffing
Effective at 4:00 p.m. today, January 20th:
- Shift switches (i.e. switching scheduled hours of work with the scheduled hours of work of another employee) will continue to be permitted as per H.3 of the local provisions of the collective agreement.
- Any requests for shift exchanges (i.e. exchanging a shift for vacation or banked time) submitted after that time for the posted schedule will not be approved. Requests submitted prior to that time will be approved subject to the current process.
- Pre-booked vacation for the current posted schedule at this time will be honoured subject to emergent needs that may arise.
- Ad hoc vacation (requests made in advance of the schedule posting per CA) during the posted schedule may be approved depending on operational needs
- Staff may be redeployed on a temporary basis between units and sites depending on increased inpatient and critical care capacity. Redeployment of staff will be similar to what occurred at the start of pandemic.
- Reassignment of scheduled staff between units (on a day by day basis) will occur to support the needs of various units. Staff may be reassigned successive shifts depending on the circumstances.
The Hospital has been in consultation with ONA about the above approach that is being undertaken and they have been informed that the Hospital will be invoking Ontario Regulation 74/20 which provides authorization to the Hospital to develop, modify and implement redeployment plans in response to COVID-19.
The Hospital knows that these are uncertain and challenging times and the Hospital appreciates all of the work and support that the staff has provided during the pandemic.
If this impacts you directly and you have questions or concerns please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
FYI: A Messege from Vicki McKenna
Thank you for your tireless work and courage over this very challenging holiday season. As hospital COVID admissions rise, straining capacity, ONA members have been raising concerns about the way hospitals are reassigning ONA members and other health-care workers to areas where they are unfamiliar, or the scope of the work is beyond their skills, training and expertise. We know the situation is untenable for you, your team and your patients. These are unprecedented times and we know how stressful the environment is at this time. The system is stretched as never before and so much is being asked of you! The information that follows is intended to help you work through this situation to the best of your ability while ensuring that decision-makers are held accountable for the decisions they are making. Key messages for our members regarding redeployment, reassignment and inappropriate assignments If you are being reassigned to an area that you are unfamiliar with: A skill and training inventory should have been completed by the hospital prior to any reassignment being done as set out in the Government Emergency Orders. You need to recognize and work within the limits of your knowledge, skill and judgment, and your scope of practice. You must inform your employer of your inability to accept responsibility in the area in which specific training is required or for which you are not competent to function without supervision. You must decline performing the care that you are not competent to perform. In collaboration with the manager (as a Regulated Health Professional, the manager has a professional responsibility and regulatory standards too), develop a plan to modify the assignment to enable you to provide only the elements of care that you are competent to provide. You need to be clear to the team about your abilities and the areas in which you require assistance. The team should collaborate to determine how the care will be provided to the patients under their care. It is not abandoning a patient when you are willing to work with the team to ensure care is delivered. You need to seek advice and collaboration with the health-care team to uphold safe patient care. You need to fill out a Professional Responsibility Workload Report (PRWR) form if you are being asked to perform duties or have a workload that puts your professional standards at risk. This form provides your document of your concerns and how and to whom you raised the issues, and shifts the decision-making onus to a manager. What do I do when working with the reassigned worker? You need to ensure the worker is competent to perform any procedure and be aware of their limitations. You must determine the appropriateness in each patient situation when assigning patients. You need to be professional and treat the reassigned worker with respect and as a team member. You need to collaborate and communicate with your colleagues in a clear, effective, professional, and timely way. You must take action to stop unsafe, incompetent, unethical or unlawful practice. You must work together to improve patients’ care. You must support, mentor and teach. Delegation: You need to determine whether a task or procedure can be delegated and whether it is appropriate for the reassigned health-care worker to perform. When directing a member or other members of the health-care team to perform nursing functions, you must ensure that they are adequately trained and competent to perform the task or procedure. Once a procedure has been delegated to you under an Act (i.e., Nursing Act, Public Hospitals Act or other Regulated Health Professions Act), you are not permitted to delegate that task to another worker. The nurse who delegates a controlled act is responsible for the decision to delegate and must ensure the requirements for delegation under the College of Nurses of Ontario is met. Once the Professional Responsibility Workload Report form is submitted: Workload/professional issues should be discussed at the unit level with the most responsible nurse or other health-care professional. Managers must be creative to ensure care is delivered safely or if it is not resolved or if a manager says “there is no one else to call”, then proceed to next step. Discussion should occur with manager within 10 days; the manager has 10 days to respond, if not resolved. The Form is to be submitted to the Hospital-Association Committee (HAC) within 20 days from the date of the manager’s response or when the response was expected. The chair of HAC shall convene a meeting within 15 days of the form being submitted to the committee, if not resolved. These meetings can be held sooner at the request of either party especially in urgent situations. Resources on the ONA website include sample completed professional responsibility workload reporting forms for the following issues: skill mix, acuity, staffing and reassignment. Please contact your Bargaining Unit President if you need assistance. In solidarity, Vicki McKenna, RN President Ontario Nurses' Association
Letter from Local Co-Ordinator’s to ONA Board:
We are requesting that a special meeting of the Union be called to consider a proposed constitutional amendment. In accordance with Articles 6.15 and 12.01 of the ONA Constitution, this request is served on you as Provincial President. You will be receiving separate special meeting requests from other Local Coordinators. The topic to be considered at the special meeting is a proposed constitutional amendment related to minimum qualifications to hold office on the Provincial Board of Directors. In addition to being a member with entitlements, we would ask the Board of Directors amend the constitution requiring all candidates who run for Provincial Office to have satisfied mandatory criteria in order to put their name forward as a nominee. This would include requiring nominees to have completed one full term in a senior union position (defined as Local Coordinator, Bargaining Unit President, Vice President or Grievance Chair).
Senior Positions should have experience with ONA. How can you lead if you do understand the duties and responsibilities. These positions support, work and train the bargaining units. It would be an impossible task without knowledge. The voices who do not support this do not understand the positions or the actual responsibilities which is concerning when it affects 68,000 members and their families.
Update December 11, 2020
Please see below for recommendations set out by KFLA Public Health regarding Safe Celebration Practices related to the Covid 19 Pandemic. Please be advised that with these recommendations, the employer places onus on each staff member to adhere to Local, Provincial, and Federal Public Health Guidelines. ONA Local 99 wants you as members to be aware that choosing to practice outside of these guidelines could effect your relationship and/or status with the Employer.
Precedents has already been set in other workplaces across the province and as Registered Nurses we are held to a higher standard.
Update November 8, 2020:
ONA does not support the use of expired N95s for patient’s with infectious airborne diseases.
N95s and equivalent respirators that are past their designated shelf life are no longer NIOSH-certified, as they must meet all manufacturer-designated conditions of use to maintain the NIOSH approval. Although this is a recommendation for times of increased supply and demand the government of Canada also notes: It is unknown how long after the expiry date the respirator would be considered suitable for use.
In ONA’s opinion this is a huge risk to make considering that there are no studies or evidence to support the expired masks viability.
We are advising out membership to NOT risk their health and safety and to not use an expired N95 for anything more than a procedure mask.
Please report to your Local 99 Representative Laura Detlor — email@example.com