The problem of violence against care staff
Ontario healthcare workers are subject to a higher rate of workplace violence than policing or corrections.
Some of the violence is so severe that the staff member who is assaulted will never work again.
CUPE conducted focus groups on violence at hospitals and long term care facilities across Ontario in 2016 and 2017, in conjunction with the University of Stirling. The findings will be published in an international journal of occupational health and safety this fall.
CUPE is bargaining for new protections for hospital staff in our central bargaining this summer.
CUPE and Unifor called in May for the federal government to introduce amendments to the federal criminal code to make assaulting healthcare staff a more serious criminal offence.
PSW of the Year
Lydia Harms from Meno Ya Win Hospital in Sioux Lookout is CUPE’s PSW of the year.
Lydia has been a PSW since 2008. Her letter of nomination included this testimonial: “ She knows who need extra time in the morning, who is aggressive and can diffuse their temperaments, will give a night owl a bath at 4am because she has the time to be with them as compared to the morning rush. She sits and talks patiently with them while feeding them ”.
Lydia will be honoured at a special presentation in August.
Province announces changes to PSW registry and training in 2017 budget
Changes are coming to the training program for PSWs and to the registration system for the profession.
In the 2017 budget the province announced that it would fund a new training centre and educational program for PSWs.
CUPE is actively involved in advocating on these issues.
The government also announced that it would revamp the registration system. A previous attempt to have the employer run a PSW registry failed.
At the April 2017 Ontario Council of Hospital Unions/CUPE convention delegates amended the action plan to add that the union should explore the benefits of PSWs having a similar form of regulation to other professions in the province of Ontario.
We will keep you posted on any news or development around the registry and the training program.
Bargaining underway for CUPE hospital staff
Bargaining has begun for the hospital staff represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees. It started June 10 and continues in August and September.
The priorities for the union in this round of bargaining include:
- Job security
- Safe working conditions
- Wages, benefit improvements and premium increases
The hospitals are seeking a number of concessions to job security, benefits and in other areas. CUPE is committed to continuing our proud tradition of no concessions in our bargaining with the hospitals. A teleconference call to update you about the bargaining will be held on July 24 at 7 pm. We will call you at home to join this important call.