ELS 2018 Course Descriptions

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ELS 2018 Course Descriptions

Foundation Courses (1.5 days)

General Labour Relations – David Harrigan, UNA

For new union members or activists, this course will provide information about the benefits of belonging to a nurses’ union and how they make a difference to the workplace, our co-workers, the community and those in our care. The goal is to give newer members the opportunity to learn how the union fits with work life, leadership opportunities, understanding the benefit packages, cultural inclusiveness, and health and safety advocacy. Participants will learn about labour history, the role of a union, the collective bargaining process, labour terminology, grievance and arbitration, and duty to accommodate.

The Negotiations Process – Dan Anderson, ONA (retired)

This course is designed to give nurses a better understanding of the process that results in a collective agreement; it will examine all aspects of collective bargaining, including the steps in the process, preparation, construction of contract clauses, bargaining strategies and tactics. Participants will examine factors, both internal and external, which affect negotiations.

Legal Realities of the Nurse – Jan Borowy, LLB

This course will introduce participants to the legal rights, responsibilities, and professional standards of a nurse. This course examines the various judicial proceedings in which a nurse may become a participant including professional misconduct, fitness-to-practice proceedings, civil suits, criminal proceedings, privacy and communications issues, workplace violence, occupational health and safety, to name a few. Through a multi-media presentation, participants will work on case studies and discuss nurse-union related legal issues to better assist them in representing their union members.

Union History – Rosalee Longmoore, SUN (retired)

Unions were born out of the struggle to change the status quo and to provide workers with a means to protect and further their rights. Collective support and collective action are powerful tools in making a difference and influencing change. Individual action can also be powerful in affecting change.

This course is especially designed for new activists. It will provide an overview of union history with the specific emphasis on nurses unions’ history, and will provide evidence that being an active union member is compatible with being a professional. We can best achieve our goals as nurses by being both.

Enjeux juridiques de la profession et des soins infirmiers – Martin Rioux, NBNU

Ce cours offre une introduction aux droits, aux responsabilités et aux normes d’exercice de la profession infirmière. Ce cours permettra de comprendre les différentes procédures judiciaires auxquelles peuvent faire face les infirmières et infirmiers : audiences disciplinaires, poursuites pénales et civiles ainsi qu’une diversité d’instances administratives. Ce cours explorera également comment les responsabilités professionnelles des infirmières (infirmiers) influencent et interagissent avec leurs droits à titre de travailleuses (travailleurs) syndiqués, et vice versa. Au-delà d’une présentation multimédias, les participants seront appelés à se prononcer sur des études de cas, à jouer des rôles dans le cadre de simulations, et à participer activement dans le cadre d’exercices pratiques. Le but de ce cours est d’offrir une compréhension globale des enjeux juridiques qui peuvent affecter nos membres afin de permettre une représentation efficace au niveau local dès qu’un enjeux survient.

90-Minute Courses

Communications and Campaigns – Coleen Logan, NSNU and Leanne Lagsiar, NBNU

Internal channels, journalism, the internet and social media provide enormous opportunities, and obstacles, when we attempt to get our messages across. But knowing exactly how our members feel about an issue can make or break a campaign. In this course, participants will acquire practical information they can use as health care and labour activists to support their organization. We will explore the difference between very good and less successful trade union public relations campaigns, and the role members play in determining the outcomes.

Respectful Workplace – Carl Quinlan, NSNU

Today’s healthcare environment faces challenges every day that can invoke conflict in the workplace.  It is vital that our members have tools, resources and support they need to contend with such issues for their own health and wellbeing, and that of our patients.

This course assists nurses in how to deal with day-to-day conflict, with examples of workplace conflict, and how to best deal with situations whereby we feel bullied or mistreated at work.  We also examine self-awareness, knowing what we may be doing to contribute to workplace conflict.

Nursing and Social Media – Justin Hiltz, NSNU

The internet is fundamentally changing the way we interact with others, both personally, and professionally. In many ways, having an online presence has become a necessity. This course will review various social media platforms that are available, while offering tips on how best to present a professional image online. Tips on cyber safety, privacy rights and maintaining privacy online will also be discussed. We will talk about the implications of living in an Age of (dis)Information and finally, look at ways to stay “cyber engaged” as Union members through social media platforms and apps.

Professional Practice and Nursing Workload - TBD

We now know there is a clear relationship between inadequate nurse staffing and poor patient outcomes, including mortality, hospital acquired pneumonia, falls, medication errors, length of stay and many more. With appropriate staffing levels, we can improve nursing workload while at the same time improving patient care. Relying on evidence-based research, this course will help nurses better articulate their own value and will highlight the danger of not addressing the problem of nurse workload. The focus will be on proven solutions, including workload reporting systems, independent assessment committees, safe staffing levels and dynamic staffing tools.

Facing Management Effectively - TBD

This course is about helping union representatives become effective in all their dealings with management. We will be talking about management styles, emerging trends and the rights of the parties. We will practice with appropriate tools to act strategically in dealings with management on such issues as contracting out, workforce adjustment and changing work practices as well as the ongoing day to day conflicts that may arise between union members and management.

Nursing and Addictions – Lilo Wessels, NSNU

The nursing profession is not immune to addictions. In fact, nurses may be more susceptible due to their typically high-stress jobs, shift work and frequent contact with serious illness and death. Easier access to controlled substances in the workplace may also contribute to substance abuse. This course will explore how substance abuse affects the nurse, co-workers, the union, the employer and, most importantly, the patients/clients/residents. The course further explores the implications on the nurses’ license to practice. This course will also provide information for union activists to assist in representing members.

Domestic Violence - TBD

When faced with an issue as big as violence against women, it’s easy to feel like what you are doing can’t make a difference.  But even the smallest of actions can have a big impact.  In this workshop, participants examine the findings of the Canadian Labour Congress and Western University survey on Domestic Violence and the Workplace, learn how domestic violence impacts workers and workplaces, discuss the union’s role in keeping women safe at work, and develop strategies for making a difference through negotiations, member education, public awareness and political action. 

Nursing and Technology – Richard Booth, University of Western Ontario

This session will explore the evolving role of technology in the profession. Given the increasing use of various clinical technologies, artificial intelligence, and robotic technology, implications related to the role of nurses in future healthcare systems will be presented. Further, this program will challenge participants to reflect upon various roles of the current-day nurse, and how these roles may fundamentally change through the increased use of robotics and artificial intelligence.

Nursing and Workplace Violence – Jennifer Dickison, NBNU and Paul Curry, NSNU

Violence in the workplace is an issue that affects the safety and security of employees, patients/clients/residents, visitors and family members. Workplace violence claims a high personal cost due to the emotional trauma and physical injury. It can also lead to increased absenteeism, higher sick leave costs, lost productivity, high employee turn-over, higher insurance premiums and increased Workers’ Compensation premiums. This course will examine the tools and resources union members possess to promote safer workplaces for all.