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Not harassment to remind nurses of professional obligations, arbitrator says

By Adrian Miedema

It was not ‘harassment’ for a manager to mention the College of Nurses of Ontario and remind nurses of their professional obligations, an arbitrator has held.

The nurses worked at the Central East Correctional Centre. In a meeting, the manager reminded nurses that they should not be sleeping or watching movies during the night shift and discussed changes to the ‘break routine’. Some nurses appeared to be resisting the manager’s message regarding sleeping and watching movies. One nurse asked a ‘question’ about whether nurses should respond to emergencies during unpaid breaks, which the arbitrator took as a threat of retribution in response to changes to the breaks. The manager reminded them of their professional obligations as nurses and referred to the College of Nurses of Ontario.

The nurses complained that the mention of professional obligations, and of the College of Nurses of Ontario, was threatening and amounted to harassment. They argued that it carried the implication that the nurses could face professional penalties for resisting changes to break times…

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