Our Human Rights & Equity team works to enhance and promote the equal treatment of workers and freedom from discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Our five equity groups – comprises dedicated members and ONA staff – include members of Indigenous descent, members with disabilities, Francophone members, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members, and racialized members. The groups recognize and support members who may experience discrimination and marginalization in their workplace. They are determined advocates who believe that workplace inequity can be solved through building relationships and spearheading action. We are stronger, together.

ONA supports members in a variety of ways including:

  • Developing specific resources such as FAQs, ONA’s own Human Rights and Equity Guide, Bulletins and other publications.
  • Hosting HRE-specific teleconnects that provide a safe venue to discuss current issues or topics.
  • Providing tailored workshops on a variety of HRE topics including bullying, workplace violence prevention, and much more.
  • Promoting special events that underscore and promote equity issues.

As an ONA member, your collective agreement protects and gives you the right to equal treatment and freedom from discrimination and harassment because of personal characteristics including race, ancestry, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability.

ONA has won many fights in protecting the rights of your collective agreement to achieve pay equity, maternity and parental leave for adoptive parents, and new legislation on workplace violence and harassment. We took on these legal challenge not just for our members, but for all workers in Ontario.

We invite you to contact us to become involved in the work of our Union.

If you have a human rights-related question related to your employer, please contact your Bargaining Unit Human Rights and Equity Representative or your Bargaining Unit President for further advice and support.

Your Human Rights and Equity Team

  • Pam Mancuso, Vice-President, Region 1 (Human Rights and Equity portfolio)
  • Vicki McKenna (Ex-Officio)
  • Grace Pierias (Disabilities member)
  • Angel Paniagua Perez (LGBTQ+ member)
  • Emmanuel (Manny) Ajayi (Racialized member)
  • Céline Messier (Francophone member)
  • Susan Archibald (Indigenous member)
  • Sheila Riddell, Project Manager (Staff)
  • Pauline Lefebvre-Hinton (Staff)
  • Katie Hucker, Labour Relations Assistant (Staff)

Pam Pam Mancuso, RN, Vice-President Region 1 – pmancuso@ona.org

Pam Mancuso, RN, is currently serving her fourth term as Vice-President, Region 1, on the ONA Board of Directors. In this capacity, Pam represents thousands of registered nurses and health-care professionals working in the northern region of Ontario. Pam is the Board member who holds the Human Rights and Equity portfolio. In this capacity, she promotes and enhances human rights and equity issues among ONA members throughout the province as well as works with the Accommodation/Return-to-Work Task Group as part of her portfolio. When asked why the Human Rights and Equity portfolio is important to her Pam stated, “I feel it is important for ONA members to know that their Union is working to enhance their work environment by supporting them in facing the difficulties that arise in many workplaces with respect to our members’ human rights.”

Grace Pierias, RN, Local 75 – hredisabilities@ona.org

Grace has been an RN in various emergency departments throughout North America for the last 15 years. In 2016, she became an active member of the Local 75 Executive Team at St Joseph’s Healthcare in Hamilton, and currently carries the Political Action and Human Rights and Equity portfolio there. She is honoured to represent the disabilities group.

Angel Paniagua-Perez, RN, Local 83 – hrelgbt@ona.org

Angel Paniaqua-Peres, RN, is a registered nurse at The Ottawa Hospital and is a member Local 83. Angel has been nursing for 11 years, and has been active within the Local since 2015. He helped organize ONA’s first Pride parade for Capital Pride. It is his first year on the provincial Human Rights and Equity Team, and is thankful for the opportunity to sit on the Team. Being a provincial Human Rights and Equity representative has allowed him to give back to the GLBTQ+ community. He is currently in the process of adopting three children with his husband.

Emmanuel Ajayi (Manny), RN, Local 111 – hreracialized@ona.org

Manny is currently serving his first term as a member of the Human Rights and Equity Team, representing the Racialized group. Manny is a member of Local 111, and holds the position of Unit Rep. for Outpatient Mental Health. He also serves as an alternate member of the Health and Safety Team. He has been an RN for over 22 years, and having been tested with Racial inequality, have come to understand the need for fairness in the workplace and, most importantly, the role that ONA played in ensuring the human rights are protected and practiced by employers toward our members. As a member of the Human Rights and Equity Team, he strongly believes that ONA is continuously ensuring that our members are protected through education, communications, political action, and in solidarity. This opportunity has allowed him the chance to appreciate first-hand the work that ONA does. “I am very proud and privileged to represent ONA, and its members on the Human Rights and Equity Team,” Manny says.

CelineCéline Messier, RN, Local 2- hrefrancophone@ona.org

Céline Messier represents the Francophone members on the Provincial Human Rights and Equity Team. A member of Local 2, she holds the position of Grievance Chair, working closely with her Bargaining Unit President. Céline is also a member of the Hospital Advisory Committee. She recently graduated in 2015 from Laurentian University’s French nursing program. Céline works at St. Joseph’s General Hospital in the ICU and ER department. “I was eager to learn about ONA and this has been the perfect fit for me! I am learning so much and look forward to taking it all in over the next year,” Céline says.

Susan Archibald, RN, Local 21 – hreaboriginal@ona.org

Susan Archibald, RN, is the provincial Human Rights & Equity Representative for ONA’s members of Aboriginal Descent. Susan joined the Human Rights and Equity Team in order to actively support and empathize with her coworkers and fellow ONA members. Having faced discrimination herself, she is able to communicate solidarity with others facing oppression and provide a voice for those who are vulnerable. Susan is a member of Local 21.

Sheila Riddell, Manager, LEAP
Human Rights and Equity Project Manager

Sheila joined the ONA Team in August 2015. She is currently the Manager for the Legal Expense Assistance Plan (LEAP) Team, which services members with regard to the College of Nurses of Ontario. Sheila became the Project Manager of the Human Rights and Equity Team in 2017. A rewarding aspect of the role of Project Manager is that Sheila has been able to assist team members in becoming leaders within their equity groups, in their Bargaining Units, and within ONA.

Pauline Lefebvre-Hinton, Human Rights & Equity Specialist (Litigation)
Human Rights and Equity Team Staff Member

Pauline Lefebvre-Hinton is a registered nurse and a lawyer. She joined ONA in 1991, and has worked for over 20 years as a litigator representing ONA initially in pay equity matters and then at grievance arbitrations and Ontario Labour Relations Board proceedings. Previously, she was a servicing Labour Relations Officer for a large hospital. Currently, she is a Human Rights & Equity Specialist. In this position, she provides organizational resources to ONA on human rights issue focusing on accommodation and return to work. Prior to coming to ONA, Pauline worked as an RN for eight years in medical surgical and cardiac ICU at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington and in a pediatric and step-down neonatal unit at McMaster Hospital in Hamilton.


Contact Us

You may contact the Human Rights and Equity Team with a confidential message and we will connect with you. Human Rights and Equity team members do not provide labour relations advice. Please contact your Bargaining Unit President for any issues surrounding labour relations.

By Mail

Human Rights and Equity Team
Ontario Nurses’ Association
85 Grenville Street, Suite 400
Toronto, ON M5S 3A2

By Email

Email addresses for networking with Equity Group members:

To contact the Vice-President, Human Rights and Equity (HRE) Portfolio, Pam Mancuso: pmancuso@ona.org

By phone

Telephone 416-964-8833 (in Toronto) or call toll-free 1-800-387-5580, press 0 and ask for Human Rights and Equity. Please leave us a confidential voicemail and we will respond promptly (1-800-387-5580 or 416-964-8833 ext. 7768.)

By Fax

416-964-3705 Attn: Human Rights and Equity Team