"The fact that Ms. Draude was apparently not made aware of these issues speaks to the lack of oversight necessary to take protective steps." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
Vancouver (21 June 2017) — In response to a media release the B.C. Goverment and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) issued on June 14 — Chronic failure by PHSA to protect staff at Forensic Psychiatric Hospital (FPH) leads to another assault on health care worker— the union is disappointed that Angela Draude, provincial executive director with the Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission, said in an interview with CKNW News that she "hasn't personally heard a request for protective equipment from the BCGEU."
"We would like to clarify that the BCGEU/NUPGE raised the issue of body armour in a meeting with the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and also argued against the decision to remove blocking pads for our members to use when approaching a violent client," says Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President. "The fact that Ms. Draude was apparently not made aware of these issues speaks to the lack of oversight necessary to take protective steps."
Draude also stated that workers receive extensive violence prevention training, but unfortunately this training falls far short of what is required for the FPH environment.
In fact, the training Draude referred to is provided to all members of the PHSA in their various work environments such as the BC Cancer Agency, BC Children's Hospital and the BC Women's Hospital. Members at FPH were promised by the employer additional training suitable to the patients they serve; however, this training has not been provided.
On behalf of BCGEU/NUPGE members at FPH, Smith will again be calling on the PHSA at their open board meeting on June 29 in Vancouver to provide improved onsite safety measures at the hospital, including suitable resources and protections for staff.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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