Jocelyn Borras has been a registered practical nurse (RPN) since 2010 at the Cooksville Care Centre in Mississauga. She values patience and compassion in her job, which help her create a positive environment for her residents.
“It’s not just about treating your residents and giving them medication. Love and care are important as well. I have 40 residents in my care, and even when I’m rushing to see them all, I still try to spend some time talking with and listening to each of them. They’ve become a part of my life, not just my job, and I don’t like to ever see them upset. It’s free to smile, and so I’m always smiling at work.”
She did not initially set out to become a nurse, but after much encouragement from her mother, she discovered her passion for the field. Along the way, she also found the motivation to become a leader in her workplace through SEIU Healthcare.
“I’m really happy right now with SEIU Healthcare. I’m honoured to help fight for our rights and to educate other members who might not know what’s going on. I encourage them to become more active, because the union is ours.”
Leadership is an essential part of collective action, and Jocelyn explains how becoming a union steward allows her to work closely with other members, instead of a traditional workplace setting.
“What separates leaders from bosses is their ability to listen to and communicate with others on the same level, building trust between them. Members have the chance to make suggestions for better working conditions, and we as stewards support them every step of the way while also informing them of their rights.”
It also helped her realise she can do more as an activist, not just as an RPN, and she urges other members to act as well:
“In being part of SEIU Healthcare, I gained a lot of experience and especially the confidence to be able to talk to managers about labour issues. When I became a steward, I promised myself to set a good example for other members. It’s hard to convince people to become more involved in a union but teaching them to look for warning signs in the workplace and how to deal with stressful situations can make a big difference. They need to know they’re not alone and shouldn’t be afraid to fight.”