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Unifor welcomes inclusion of nurses in PTSD coverage for first responders

December 7, 2017

Toronto – Unifor is pleased that all nurses will soon be included in the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder legislation.

“Throughout their work lives, nurses are regularly subject to horrific circumstances and conduct themselves with the utmost of professionalism,” said Ontario Regional Director Naureen Rizvi. “At a certain point though, it can be far too much for any one person to bear.”

This announcement comes more than a year and a half after other first responders were granted the presumption of work-related PTSD, which allows for expedited support, benefits and a stronger path to recovery.

Unifor urges that the legislation be updated quickly and also be expanded to include any health care worker who provides direct care, or has the potential to be at risk from a traumatic incident including: ward clerks, personal support workers and laboratory or x-ray technologists.

“Nurses should have never been excluded in the first place and we are glad to see after much pressure, the government has fixed the flaw in the legislation,” said Unifor Health Care Director Andy Savela. “Unifor will continue to pressure the government to end the exclusion of other health care workers.”

Unifor recently launched a campaign calling for four hours of direct, hands on care in long term care homes, where traumatic events can also occur, and are worsened by inadequate staffing levels. 

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. In Ontario, Unifor represents approximately 160,000 workers, including 25,000 health care workers. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad and strives to create progressive change for a better future.


For more information, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Shannon Devine or (cell) 416-302-1699.