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About Us

The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) is the voice of nearly 250,000 unionized nurses and nursing students across the country. We are proud to advocate for our members and promote the nursing profession on the national level, and we work tirelessly to protect the quality of health care for our patients and our universal public health care system.

Patients and nurses need effective advocates. Nurses are the most trusted spokespersons in health care, and it is the CFNU’s role to ensure that the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, other MPs and top-level bureaucrats in Ottawa know what nurses think and where we stand on important health related issues that impact people living in Canada. We provide evidence to inform policy-making.

We use our powerful collective voice to speak up and pressure the federal government to recognize the professional skills and knowledge that nurses bring to their jobs. We convey the importance of safe and healthy workplaces for our members and the patients they care for through our advocacy for strong occupational health and safety legislation and the enforcement of a zero tolerance policy for violence. We work to make sure nurses’ and patients’ priorities are reflected in health and budgetary policy and when national politicians talk “health.” We also push them to recognize the caring, human touch nurses bring which is so important to patients’ healing.

We represent nurses at the national media, we serve as an information resource, and we are the national voice of nurses within the Canadian Labour Congress.

We represent nurses’ unions in nine provinces (BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NB, NS, PEI and NL) and we are proud to have as associate members the 40,000 student nurses of CNSA. The CFNU also enjoys a good working relationship with all unions that represent nurses and health care workers.

CFNU Mission: We are the recognized national voice advocating for nurses and high-quality public health care.

CFNU Vision: The strong national voice for unionized nurses in Canada and part of the world voice for unionized nurses.

What do nurses’ unions do?

Ninety percent of nurses in Canada are members of a union. Nurses’ union members take home some of the strongest pay and benefits packages in health care in the country. Union representatives work hard to assist members with issues in their workplaces.

As a member of a nurses’ union, members get to vote for their leaders. Members can attend meetings and are encouraged to participate in union activities. Nurses’ unions also provide extensive education programs that equip members with knowledge and skills to enable them to recognize and resolve workplace issues such as breach of collective agreement rights, professional practice issues, and occupational health and safety.


How do unions benefit me?

The CFNU has been a proud member of the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) since 1998. We are in solidarity with other labour unions to improve the social and economic well-being of workers and defend Canada’s social programs.

Unions believe in social and economic justice by lobbying governments. Here are a few things unions have achieved over the years:

  • Minimum wage laws
  • Vacation and overtime pay
  • Employment insurance and retirement security
  • Human rights legislation
  • Parental leave
  • Health and safety rules
  • Equity and diversity
  • Respect and fairness

Unions work to improve wages, benefits and provide a voice for you in the workplace. In fact, unionized workers across Canada earn approximately $5.28/hour more than non-union workers and are more likely to receive health care and pension benefits than non-unionized workers.

Unions are leaders in the areas of: publicly funded, publicly delivered health care; employment insurance and pension benefits; child care; pharmacare; protecting the environment; affordable housing; and other economic development.