Global Nurses United Day of Action: Canada's Nurses Stand with Nurses, Health Care Workers in 11 Countries

OTTAWA, May 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Canada's Nurses are lending support to a global initiative highlighting action to protect patients and public health care services. The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU), representing close to 200,000 nurses, is joining leading nurse and health care union organizations in 11 countries across the globe to hold coordinated actions during International Nurses Day, supporting global efforts to improve patient care protection, oppose cuts in health care services, and stop the erosion of nurses' workplace and living standards that are under attack in many countries.

The international actions are the latest in a series of actions by member organizations of Global Nurses United (GNU) which includes the CFNU and other leading nurses and health care organizations in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, and Europe, who pledged to work together on patient care, public health, opposing privatization, austerity, and the dangers to public health posed by climate change.

"Canada's Nurses stand in solidarity with nurses across the globe as we strive to provide safe, quality care to our patients," said Linda Silas, CFNU President. "We are pleased to be launching our federal election campaign 'Vote for the Health Care We Deserve' during International Nurses Day," says Silas.

Central themes of GNU members also include working collectively together to guarantee the highest standards of universal health care as a human right for all, to secure safe patient care, especially with safe nurse-to-patient ratios, and safe health care workplaces.

"This great series of actions represents the dedication of nurses and other health care workers worldwide uniting to protect patients and the health of our nations," said Karen Higgins, RN, co-president of National Nurses United in the U.S.

"GNU was founded as an activist organization, with the view that our collective movement was critical to challenge the governments and global institutions that promote austerity and cuts in services – and to push for the changes needed for all our communities and nations," she said.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions represents close to 200,000 nurses and student nurses. Our members work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, community health care and our homes.
For further information contact Anil Naidoo at 613-986-5409 or

Global Nurses United Global Day of Action: May 2015


The New South Wales Nurses and Midwives' Association held a demonstration outside State Parliament in Sydney Tuesday May 5 to lobby the NSW government to put patient safety first. The NSWNMA is seeking improved and extended nurse-to-patient ratios across all public hospitals as part of their 2015 award claim for public hospital nurses. In honor of International Midwives Day (May 5), the NSWNMA is also calling on the government to guarantee minimum staffing in all maternity wards across the state.

The Queensland Nurses Union held an event today to celebrate midwives and nurses. The QNU will also honor International Nurses Week to urge the introduction of nurse-to-patient ratios in Queensland public hospitals as part of its Ratios Save Lives campaign.

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions will launch its federal election campaign on May 12 around the slogan of "Vote for the Health Care We Deserve" in support of the country's Medicare system.

The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec has scheduled events throughout Quebec this month to highlight the vital work of their members in the health system and to continue their campaign for a fair and just collective bargaining agreement covering nurses and other health care professionals. The union recently held demonstrations in front of the provincial health ministry.

Dominican Republic

The Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Enfermeria today plans to visit the Dominican Congress and demand that it approve a salary increase for all public and private employees, including nurses. On May 7, the union held a press conference to demand claims for nurses and the public health, and on May 9 – activities in Santo Domingo and Santiago. On May 12, nurses unions are holding a vigil outside the National Palace, demanding President Danilo Medina comply with the agreements signed since October 2013, in which health insurance is guaranteed for pensioners, transportation, among others. This includes the National Union of Nursing Services (Join-CASC), the National Union of Dominican Nursing Services (UNASED), the Association of Registered Nurses (ADEG), and the Association of Nurses (ADEIDSS) of Dominican Social Security Institute.


PASONOP is calling for action to address the dangerous understaffing in Greek hospitals, the necessity of mandatory minimum nurse-to-patient ratios, and for better funding of the Greek health care system. The union is also organizing actions in the community during nurses' week and beyond to show the nurses' solidarity with the people in need of basic health care services.


The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organization held a press conference today in Trim calling on the government to restore nurses' pay and working conditions that have been cut due to austerity. More than 350 nurse and midwife delegates will then meet in convention to prepare the union's campaign in the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations.


The Israeli Nurses Union announced it would strike across the country the second week of May for a new collective bargaining agreement.


Asociación Paraguaya de Enfermería held a mass mobilization in front of the Ministry of Public Health in Asuncion on May 8 to defend the law that respects nurses' rights and professional practice.


The Alliance of Health Workers was holding a protest march on May 7 to Mendiola, near the Malacanang Palace, calling for a national minimum wage, decent jobs and a ban on contract labor. Simultaneous actions will be held in the regions of Cordillera and Visayas. On May 11, the union had a protest action in front of the House of Representatives with demands for decent jobs for nurses, better pay and working conditions.


The nurses' union Sindicato de Enfermería de Ayudantes Técnicos Sanitarios de España (SATSE) is holding actions across Spain during the week of May 12 around the theme "Soy Enfermera" ("I am a nurse") to raise the visibility of the work of their members. These will include actions in health centers, teach-ins in schools and community centers, and promoting the campaign in social media.

United States

  • National Nurses United is holding rallies in Washington D.C. on May 12 to urge passage of mandatory minimum nurse-to-patient ratio legislation and to call on the federal Veterans Administration to stop the bullying of registered nurses. Nurses will also lobby the US Congress in support of legislation to mandate minimum nurse-to-patient ratios across the country and for full collective bargaining rights for nurses employed at the Veterans Administration.
  • NNU is also holding a demonstration in Sacramento, California, on May 12, urging the passage of state legislation concerning safe care for patients, as well as legislation that would end gender disparities in the workers' compensation system and to support fair pay for women. California RNs are also picketing several hospitals today in a call for hospitals to provide safer, therapeutic and effective care.
  • NNU nurses were also lobbying in the Minnesota state capitol in St. Paul, Minnesota, on May 6, in support of safe patient care.
  • On May 9, NNU nurse leaders in Chicago joined with other community leaders in a conference of Reclaim Chicago to set progressive priorities for the coming year.


Sindicato Unico de Enfermeria del Uruguay held a national assembly on May 11 at Government House in Montevideo, and the nurses' demands were given to the president of the country to improve wages and working conditions of Uruguay's nurses.

"We have a slogan in NNU: "Save One Life, You're a Hero. Save 100 Lives, You're an RN." Yet too many hospitals treat this as a moment to give nurses balloons or candy while seeking to drive down patient protections and nurses' livelihood every other day of the year. Let's honor nurses every day by once again treating hospital care as a caring public service, not just another Wall Street type institution," said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.

CONTACT: Anil Naidoo 613-986-5409

Source:Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions