Tired Frontline health care Worker with protective suit during COVID-19

North Bay Regional Hospital (NBRH) staff are again going public about the dismal state of morale of those on the front-line at the hospital. It’s not the grueling pandemic, unprecedented staff shortages and pressures but also a culture of a lack of respect and empathy and a hard-line management style from hospital brass that’s driving low morale, say more than 250 NBRH front-line staff surveyed earlier this fall.

The Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) the hospital division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) held a media conference on Wednesday November 2 at 11 a.m. to release the findings of the survey of registered practical nurses (RPNs), custodians, clerical, trades workers and others who are members of CUPE 139 working at NBRH.

Last April, OCHU-CUPE President Michael Hurley publicly raised serious concerns about the hospital’s conflictual and costly approach to staffing stability and labour relations. He called for more constructive approaches on the part of NBRH to work with CUPE to resolve a record number of grievances at the hospital.

“It saddens us to report that at a time when our hospitals are dealing with unparalleled staff shortages and exhausted staff, that the NBRH front-line staff who responded to the CUPE survey report tell us things are getting worse, not better. As more of their coworkers leave their hospital jobs, become ill from pandemic stresses, COVID-19 and now the flu, those left are beyond overworked, and their efforts unappreciated by management,” says Hurley, who will be in North Bay on Wednesday to present the survey findings.