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

“For the RNAO to come out and say that RPNs have no place in acute care is not only disappointing but offensive as well.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President

Toronto (16 May 2016) — The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) is expressing surprise and disappointment at a position paper of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) that calls for the elimination of Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs) from acute care settings in the province’s hospitals.

Having multi-disciplinary health care teams is the way to care for patients

“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/NUPGE represents 40,000 Ontario health care workers.

“OPSEU/NUPGE 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," she said.

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,” Thomas said. “In my family, and in my union, we appreciate the work of all the people working on the front-lines of health care in Ontario."

“I just wish the RNAO did, too.”


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

NUPGE Components
Issues and Campaigns
Occupational Groups