We are Ontario’s nurses.

Founded more than four decades ago by 85 independent nurses’ associations, the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) provides expert services and professional representation for nurses, by nurses.

We are a membership-driven organization with strong local leadership, and members have a direct say in their provincial representatives.

We are a professional nursing union with 62,000 members working in hospitals, nursing homes, home care, communities, public health, clinics, industry settings, family health teams and community health centres.

Because we are a nursing union, all of our resources are devoted to advancing the interests of registered nurses and allied health professionals. ONA brings expertise in representing nurses and assisting members in the following areas:

  • At the bargaining table negotiating collective agreements in which ONA leads the health-care sector for wages and working conditions.
  • Handling grievances and arbitrations. ONA has achieved many awards on behalf of members.
  • At licensing body hearings (such as the College of Nurses of Ontario).
  • Have access to our valued education programs, professional practice specialists, human rights and equity team, health and safety specialists, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board experts and much more.
  • Through the ONA benefits program that provides base long-term disability for members not covered through their employer, all members have critical illness coverage in the event of a life-threatening event, and much more.
  • Access to our legal assistance (LEAP) and malpractice programs that assist our members with legal and/or regulatory body issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I join ONA?

The most important thing you can do right now is to complete an ONA Membership Card. Print the card, complete it and return as instructed on Page 2. You cannot complete the form online.

For more information about how you can organize your group, please speak – in strict confidence – to a staff member on ONA’s Recruitment and Retention Team:

Phone number (toll free): 1-800-387-5580, ask for Organizing
Fax: 1-866-964-8864
Email: organizing@ona.org

Why join a union?

A union is formed in a workplace when workers agree to speak to their employer with one strong, collective voice. Together, you are part of a professional team your employer must listen to. The conditions of your employment – including wages, benefits and working conditions – are negotiated between relatively equal parties.

Will my employer find out that I signed an organizing card?

No. According to the Labour Relations Act, your employer will not know whether or not you have signed an organizing card. You cannot be fired, disciplined or treated differently for participating in union activity. You are exercising your democratic right!

How does voting in my workplace work?

When at least 40 per cent of employees sign union cards, the union can submit an application to the Ontario Labour Relations Board. A week later a vote is held. With 50 per cent plus one of the vote in favour, the union becomes the legal representative of a group of employees.

What do my ONA dues cover?

The many services and representatives that ONA provides are funded by the dues that members pay. Dues are paid once a month through payroll deductions. Most of your dues are tax deductible. The dues rates can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions