“We are committed to getting these stories out in the open so people can understand what’s going on inside Waypoint.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President OPSEU
Penetanguishene (12 July 2016) – The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) is releasing a dramatic new video today as part of its campaign to demand a safe workplace for staff at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care. Patient attacks on staff are increasing in severity and workers say management isn’t doing enough to prevent them.
Compelling stories reveal dangers
In the video, Waypoint workers describe their fears about their safety in their own words. “My biggest fear is that I am not going to be able to leave at the end of my shift and go home to the people I love,” says one worker.
The identities of the workers have been concealed for their protection, but their compelling stories reveal the dangers of working in the hospital’s provincial forensic unit. The unit is home to patients who are found not criminally responsible or who are found unfit to stand trial by the courts.
Lack of consideration for health and safety during construction of new building
Workers at the facility say there should have been more consideration for their safety when the new building, which opened in 2014, was constructed.
“This new building is made of drywall,” says a worker in the video. “They (patients) have been able to rip parts of their rooms apart to make weapons,” says another. A third worker says, “the technology that was supposed to make things simpler fails quite often, makes things more dangerous.”
Getting the word out
“We are committed to getting these stories out in the open so people can understand what’s going on inside Waypoint,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “Management isn’t doing anything about it. Our government isn’t doing anything about it. They both need to take action — before somebody gets killed.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE