Welcome to the Ontario Nurses’ Association! We are glad that you have joined us!

Five decades ago in Ontario, nurses stood together and formed ONA, a union dedicated to fighting for health-care professionals and the Ontarians who rely on our care. We are proud of our progress and committed to the ongoing fight for fairness, and high-quality public health care.

ONA is Canada’s largest nurses’ union. We are powered by our members — 68,000 nurses and health-care professionals, as well as 18,000 nursing student affiliates — who provide care in hospitals, long-term care, public health, the community, clinics, and industry.

Membership Advantages

Organized into more than 540 Bargaining Units and 60 Locals across Ontario, our members elect executives and representatives to work hand-in-hand with ONA’s provincial staff. Every day, these executives and representatives step up to help their fellow members raise issues with their employer concerning their rights, entitlements, and ability to provide professional, high-quality care in a safe and equitable environment.

We have strong provincial and local leadership and, as an ONA member, you have a direct say in your bargaining unit and the opportunity to elect provincial representatives. We hold elections for all positions, unless acclaimed.

Because we are a nursing and health-care professionals’ union, all of our resources are devoted to advancing and supporting the interests of registered nurses and health-care professionals. We provide expert services and professional representation to members, including:

ONA achieves fairness

Every day, ONA fights for a fair workplace for ONA’s registered nurses and health-care professionals. We have achieved many significant enhancements to our members’ working conditions thanks in part to our central bargaining processes. Improvements include:

  • The professional responsibility clause.
  • Premium pay, shift, weekend, on-call and student supervision premiums.
  • Protection from harassment and discrimination in the workplace.
  • Protection from discipline/termination.
  • Paid professional learning.
  • Protection from health and safety hazards.
  • Wage increases.
  • Salary top-up for maternity and parental leave.
  • Dental, mental health and extended health-care benefits.
  • Pension improvements.
  • Leaves of absence.
  • Vacation entitlement, scheduling provisions and more.

As an ONA member, you have protection at your workplace against unfair practices and unsafe work conditions. Your workplace rights are outlined in a collective agreement (a legal contract between ONA and your employer.)

Your collective agreement outlines your terms and conditions of employment, including pay rates and benefits, statutory holidays, vacation time, sick leave, and short- and long-term disability and mileage. It may also contain clauses about seniority rights, job postings, job security and the grievance procedure (including arbitration), which is used to enforce your collective agreement rights. Most ONA collective agreements include unique language about professional responsibility and workload.

ONA takes action

As a mature organization, ONA knows how to advocate with government, employers and stakeholders to make positive changes for our patients, residents and clients.

We play an important role in influencing policy and making legislative changes to improve working conditions for health-care workers. Our Communications and Government Relations Team (CGRT) arranges meetings regularly with government ministers, policymakers and legislators to ensure that ONA’s voice is heard loud and clear.

We initiate major public awareness and advocacy campaigns on issues that impact nurses and health-care professionals. Our award-winning marketing campaigns spur thoughtful discussions and actions for positive change. Media relations help us gain public support for staffing levels, worker and patient safety, quality patient care in our various sectors, and other topics of concern. We also mobilize and empower members to engage, plan and participate in a variety of actions that move their issues and initiatives forward.

Your Union Dues

ONA membership dues are a flat rate – a set amount that you pay monthly through payroll deductions after your first collective agreement is ratified. You can deduct union dues from your taxable income.

The services ONA provides are funded by the dues our members pay. These services and benefits include access to our education workshops and programs; professional practice specialists who advise members on nursing practice concerns; a Human Rights and Equity Team that promotes equality and works for fair and impartial consideration of issues; access to the ONA Benefits Program, which provides base Long-Term Disability (LTD) for members not covered through their employer/collective agreement; malpractice insurance; and much more.

If you have specific questions related to dues and membership, please email MemberChanges@ona.org.

Legal Expense Assistance Plan (LEAP)

ONA’s Legal Expense Assistance Plan was established in 1980 to help you with legal or regulatory body problems relating to your work. This includes problems that arise under Ontario’s Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA).

Our LEAP Team can help with the following legal issues (certain terms and limitations apply):

  • Complaints or reports to your regulator college about your professional practice and reports about health issues like substance use disorders and mental health disorders.
  • Appeals of regulatory body decisions.
  • Complaints and reports to the Information and Information and Privacy Commissioner
  • Criminal investigations arising from a job-related incident.
  • Coroner’s investigations and inquests.
  • Advice if you’re called as a witness in a legal proceeding.
  • Advice about long-term care inspections.

All registered nurses, graduate nurses and health-care professionals for whom ONA is the bargaining agent are covered by LEAP. Newly organized members, who are not yet paying dues, can buy coverage for a small fee.

For more information about LEAP, please contact LEAP Intake at LEAPIntake@ona.org or 1-800-964-8833.

Insurance and Benefits

As an ONA member, you have access to ONA’s benefits program through Johnson Insurance, which provides base long-term disability for members not covered through their employer. You are covered through Johnson Insurance and may be eligible for $250 of monthly LTD benefit, should you become disabled due to illness or injury.

Johnson Insurance is also aware of the increased risk of infection that you face every day as a health-care professional. As a dues-paying member of ONA, under the age of 75, if you are diagnosed with a critical illness (life threatening cancer, stroke, heart attack, benign brain tumour, coronary artery bypass surgery, aortic surgery, occupational Hep C, or occupational HIV), you may be eligible for a lump sum benefit payment of $3,750 if you are part-time or casual or $7,500 if you are a full-time member.

If you do not have employer-sponsored LTD coverage, you are covered through Johnson Insurance and may be eligible for $250 of monthly LTD benefit, should you become disabled due to illness or injury.

For more information, visit www.ona.johnson.ca or call 1-844-203-8412.

Access ONA – Member Portal

ONA has created an easy-to-use online access point for our members.

The Access ONA portal is a convenient and secure one-stop shop, where you can:

  • Maintain your personal records and contact information.
  • View the ONA Workshop Calendar, register for education, and print certificates for completed
  • View your current jobs and learn about your Bargaining Unit.
  • Submit requests for documentation.
  • Access member-exclusive forms, resources and more.

New ONA members will receive an invitation email with a personalized link to register to use Access ONA.

If you didn’t receive an email containing your personal link to register for Access ONA, contact our IT HelpDesk at HelpDesk@ona.org or 1-800-387-5580, ext. 2328.

Learn More

Find out more information about ONA and the many resources available to members, by visiting these links:

Download the ONA App

ONA’s app gives you instant access to all of ONA’s 500+ collective agreements, important news updates, provincial events, ONA guides, and much more.

Download it from the Apple Store or Google Play today!

Local Websites

Some of our chartered local associations maintain their own websites. Check out your Local’s website for information about local meetings, your executive team and important updates and news.

We use social media to keep members and stakeholders informed of:

  • ONA news, meetings and events
  • Ongoing campaigns
  • Discounts and promotions available to ONA members
  • Political action and labour activism
  • New publications, reports and submissions to government
  • and much more!

Follow us on your favourite social media channels for the most up-to-date news and information that affects you and your colleagues.

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