Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario


Update from RNAO and CNA - March 25, 2014

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The RNAO board of directors wishes to update members regarding developments in the relationship with the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). RNAO is moving forward with the implementation of voluntary membership in CNA for the membership year beginning November 1st, 2014. This process has sometimes put RNAO and CNA at odds, even though both are fully committed to RNAO as the jurisdictional representative of Ontario. Recently, a hearing panel of CNA’s board of directors suspended RNAO president Rhonda Seidman-Carlson from its board claiming that her dual role ― as RNAO president and CNA board member ― resulted according to CNA, her being in a conflict of interest position with her supporting RNAO's move to voluntary membership. According to CNA policies, this decision cannot be appealed. RNAO BOD does not agree with this decision and expresses its full and unqualified support and appreciation for Ms. Seidman-Carlson’s outstanding performance and conduct as RNAO President.

Recent discussions with CNA have led to the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between RNAO and CNA that advances the relationship between the two organizations. CNA accepts that RNAO is transitioning to voluntary individual membership in CNA starting in November 1, 2014, consistent with RNAO’s own individual membership which is voluntary. CNA commits to support this transition, and both organizations commit to work collaboratively to promote membership in both RNAO and CNA among RNs in Ontario. For that purpose, RNAO and CNA will immediately engage a joint communication and membership program to maximize the intake of voluntary CNA memberships during the forthcoming RNAO membership drive. CNA will also promote its new independent member class to eligible registered nurses in Ontario and Québec. In Ontario CNA, through its marketing of independent members, will encourage nurses to join both RNAO and CNA.

We take this opportunity to spread the word among RNAO members: Starting with the new membership year in November 2014, CNA membership is voluntary for RNAO members. Those wishing to remain as CNA members will indicate this in the renewal form, and the CNA fee will be added to the new RNAO fee that does not include CNA membership. Although we respect the right of each member to make their personal decision, RNAO will do its best to encourage RNAO members to remain as CNA members, and to indicate so in the renewal form. We kindly ask that you pass on the word to your RNAO colleagues.