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Monday - Registered Practical Nurses going to Queen's Park, press for greater role in health care

TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2014 /CNW/ - On Monday, nearly 30 Registered Practical Nurses from across Ontario, members of Unifor, will be at Queen's Park to talk to members of the legislature about their concerns about health care in the province and the role of their profession.

"Registered Practical Nurses are on the front line of our health care system. For many patients, and for thousands in long term care, they are the face of health care in Ontario," said Katha Fortier, Unifor's Ontario Regional Director and an RPN.

The RPNs will push for full utilization in Ontario's health care system. During the lobby sessions, they will also stress with MPPs the vital role they play in Ontario's health care system, and how to build on their contributions through opportunities for further education and training to keep skills up to date, an elimination of barriers to RPNs putting their full range of skills to use and a greater voice for RPNS - as the front line of the health care system - in the administration of hospitals and long term care facilities.

  • What: RPNs have one-on-one meetings with a number of MPPs
  • When: Monday, March 3, 2014, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Where: Queen's Park

RPNs are the fastest-growing job category in the health care system, with almost 43,000 working across the province today, compared with some 33,000 in 2009.

"It is time for the voices, and insight, of RPNs to be heard," said Fortier, who worked at a rural Northern Ontario hospital for 20 years, and is also director of Unifor's health sector.

Unifor represents 305,000 members, including more than 26,000 in health and social services. Unifor was founded Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.