Are bloggers supposed to be impartial?
I don’t know.
This isn’t a typical blog. I don’t often write about myself in this space, but I do write about my personal feelings.
I can’t write about everybody (for instance, I don’t like the idea of writing about convicted rapists or child abusers; I don’t want to write about admitted white supremacists), but generally speaking, if someone consents to being photographed and interviewed, my goal is to write positive things.
Most people have good stories to tell, even if they’ve struggled in life.
But I’m not actually impartial.
The public health nurses in Thunder Bay are officially on strike as of today.
This is bad; this is unfair. This was also entirely avoidable.
The nurses do not want to strike.
Do not for a minute think this is something the nurses want. Their union has been trying to reach a deal for two years; two years they’ve been working without a contract!
They are the lowest paid nurses in Ontario. They work so hard and put themselves on the line every day to protect this community. Most of us don’t even think about public health on a day-to-day basis.
From a letter to the editor on October 9th:
Thunder Bay and district has some of the highest infection rates in Ontario, with tuberculosis, chlamydia, Group A strep and a high burden of illness among its populations. While we are highly educated, highly skilled and dedicated, our work is often invisible to the public; be assured, we work hard on a range of programs and services to keep you in our communities healthy and well.
We work in our local schools and workplaces to improve your health. We respond to both potential and occurring communicable infectious outbreaks, administer immunizations, identify people who may be exposed to significant infections and ensure proper treatment to reduce the risk to the public.
We work in your homes to provide care to newborn infants and children, support breastfeeding, are an access point for many in our community who do not have a primary care provider to provide cervical screening, childhood and adult vaccines, and contraceptive options.
I’ve interviewed several public health nurses over the last two years. I won’t link to them as I haven’t asked permission. These dedicated women and men (the majority are women) want to continue helping the most vulnerable people in our community, and they want to continue helping YOU and ME.
Here is a list of the suspended services:
• Nurse practitioner clinics
• Street Nursing
• Immunization and travel health clinics
• Flu clinics
• Take Control smoking cessation clinics
• Breastfeeding clinics
• Prenatal classes
• Parenting sessions, workshops and events
• Healthy Babies Healthy Children program
• Some School Health programming (includes classroom presentations and curriculum support)
• Workplace Health program
• Dental hygiene clinics for low risk children
• Branch Office Nursing services
Consider contacting the people in charge and voicing your concern about the disruption of vital health service. Maybe ask why our nurses are paid less than neighbouring health units and why management and non union staff are paid fairly but that fairness doesn’t extend to the nurses.