On May 15 – 16th, OPSEU and ONA celebrated Nurses’ Week at CAMH. The two locals hosted breakfast and lunch events for staff members, and used the opportunity to talk to members about the issues facing them today. Voices United sat down for an interview with Danielle Larmand, president of ONA Local 054 at CAMH to ask about what ONA members are up against today.
Danielle, what are you doing here today?
We are celebrating Nurses’ Week. We’ve invited allied R.N.s and R.P.Ns, and we are celebrating working together.
What are nurses facing today, across Ontario?
The shortage of nurses. There are less nurses per capita in Ontario than in the rest of Canada. There [are] cuts to the health care system, and nurses are taking the brunt of the cuts. [They are] replaced by personal support workers – especially in general hospitals.
What are some of the specific issues here at CAMH?
At CAMH, right now there’s an issue of nurses being able to take their time off. [As] we do have a shortage of staff on some floors they’re refusing to let people have their time. That’s actually our number one grievance this year.
[The local] is in the midst of bargaining. Can you give a little update?
We finished our central bargaining. We’ve got an arbitrated award for a two year contract. A 0.4% [wage increase] in the first year, and a 0.4% in the second year, some minor housekeeping changes in language, and very little else. The wage they offered us [was] .4% – and they said we didn’t really need more than that because we were part of the one percent.
What is coming up for the local?
We’ve yet to set local bargaining unit dates. We’ve done our demand set meetings and we’re hoping to negotiate July or August and we’ve an arbitration date set for October.