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Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday May 25 2015
3:23 AM EDT
2014-05-16 at 13:07

Staffing shift at St. Joseph’s will see 11 nurses replaced by support workers

St. Joseph
Jamie Smith,
St. Joseph's hospital doesn't expect any layoffs when a change to its staffing model takes place.
By Jamie Smith,

THUNDER BAY - Officials at a local hospital do not believe changes to its staffing model will end with layoffs.

St. Joseph's Hospital has 63 people waiting to get into long-term care homes in the city. Registered practical nurses have been staffing the hospital's long-term floor, but St. Joseph's Care group has decided to eliminate 11 of those positions and replacing them with personal support workers.

"If those clients moved tomorrow to a long-term care home bed ,if there were beds available then they would be cared for by PSWs," president and CEO Tracy Buckler said.

Buckler said the change is best for the client and will also save the organization around $150,000 a year. She said St. Joseph's Care Group has a responsibility to provide cost effective care but is also obligated to have a balanced budget.

A labour adjustment committee will work to find positions for the RPNs elsewhere in the hospital.

"We have vacancies throughout our hospital site so we're working of course with the union," Buckler said.

That, along with attrition and retirement over the next year as the plan is gradually laid out, should mean no one will be laid off.

"We'll work with the union to avoid that possibility," Buckler said.

Unifor, which represents the RPNs, was contacted but did not provide comment.

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I think some people here hit this one on the head.
RNs and RPNs have more important jobs to do then some of the more shall i say labourious and less skilled jobs that many chronic long term patients need for not just adequate but good quality care.
As soon as an institution says we need less "nurses" the nursing union and professional nurses associated ONA juggernaut is crying that health care is going down the tubes!

Waahhhhh.Wahhh Wahhhh...Simple fearmongering!
Listen we need the appropriate people for the appropriate jobs.
As soon as a St joes patient get even half ill they ship them to the Regional. The RNs there can manage a toothache.
Kudos for St Joes management for standing up to the nursing juggernaut.
Health care isnt cheap we need to do this so i can get the care I deserve 20 years down the road when i need it.
Big Al.
5/20/2014 3:36:37 PM
Watchful says:
Why am I not surprised. As someone who has a mother under the care of the care group, I have become so frustrated. Leila Greco an assisted living apt has only PSW, they cannot do any care what so ever, so I do not blame them for the lack of help. But between CCAC who makes important health decisions without a nurse doing the interview and check on the senior client I am now appalled at how they work. The offices are top heavy with non medical staff who are more concerned on Mon to Fri hours of 9:00 to 5:00. I placed my mother there because I was told help would be available, yeah right. Decision changes in health care are made on a Fri of a long weekend and we do not find out till Sun, so we are unable to make alternate care. What in hell is going on? This has become a money grab with no care for what the parent and family require. I may have to quit my job, which would mean selling my house in order to care for my mother. Someone tell me where is there help?
5/19/2014 7:53:41 PM
Sinjo says:
It's not saying they are firing the nurses. Just moving them to areas of hospital where they are better utitilitzed.
Saving money so everyone can keep their jobs.
5/18/2014 8:39:49 AM
Curious says:
Wake up people! This is about people that require a different type of care - NOT nursing care. All you people are worried about is greed and not taking into consideration what the patients need. Sadly, we are already paying too many nurses to do PSW jobs. It is about the needs of the patients not the nurses.
5/18/2014 8:11:38 AM
nightguy888 says:
Looks like St Josephs Care Group is moving backwards not forward as they are always so proud to state. I am embarressed to even call my self an employee of this organization. So sad that St Josephs Care Group would allow this.
5/17/2014 9:36:51 PM
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Curious says:
We need more PSW's in the hospital. Why are we paying nurses to do PSW work. Go back when there were two nurses to provide necessities and 4 or 5 PSW's to do the bathing, changing beds, helping with meals and getting water for patients that nurses complain about doing. My mother was an unfortunate dementia patient awaiting long term care bed. I had to bathe her, feed her, change her etc. because I was told by a nurse that "it was not her job to babysit" and another nurse told me that she is "not trained" to deal with Alzheimer's people. There was an area where they had dementia patients and PSW's caring for them and providing things for them to do, but it was shut down because of union issues. Patients are no longer the priority, money is. Sad but true.
5/17/2014 3:15:12 PM
ranma says:
So how long until the support staff are replaced by students? This is ridiculous. Why are the most vulnerable ALWAYS the ones that pay, when cuts have to be made? Is it because they have no means to fight back, or is it because people in power enjoy crushing those who have no hope in fighting back.
5/17/2014 12:05:54 PM
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tsb says:
Hopefully Tim Hudak's PCs will form our next government! Then we can replace the rest of the nurses with support workers and SAVE ME MONEY!
5/17/2014 11:55:15 AM
what'sup says:
It is sad that cuts are done at the patient level when upper management's salaries are on the sunshine list and ae on the highest paid in the city.......very sad
5/17/2014 9:47:00 AM
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nvjgu says:
63 people waiting for long term car home's. What long term care homes is that.
5/16/2014 10:06:00 PM
Glyder says:
Really? You're commenting on a spelling/grammar mistake? Wow.
5/20/2014 8:41:43 AM
tomkat says:
What a personally supportive announcement to make to wrap up Nursing Week! RPN's are a valued contributor to our health care system. A balanced budget does not equate cost effective care.
5/16/2014 8:57:55 PM
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jonthunder says:
Just serves to prove out health care system is broken and a failure under the liberal government of Ontario - gravelle and mauro
5/16/2014 7:26:08 PM
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Tbaylifer 1 says:
This money could have been saved with a small reduction in the lucrative senior administration pay, or an elimination of one of the many junior management positions.Why is it always a reduction in the level of care? Sad.
5/16/2014 7:20:36 PM
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sickandtired says:
Sad to see that the Care Group is lowering its standards from excellent nursing care to non-professional care! Just because long-term care has low standards doesn't mean a hospital should follow suit. No member of the public can make a complaint about the care they receive from PSWs as they are non-regulated health care workers! $150,000 savings could likely have been found by eliminating one of the many vice presidents that have recently been hired.
5/16/2014 6:44:17 PM
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