Affected employees and the unions that represent them, including NAPE, were left in the dark for a full week after the information was reported lost.
St. John's (02 July 2015) — Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) President Jerry Earle is expressing his concern about the recent privacy breach involving over 9,000 employees at Eastern Health, the majority of whom are NAPE/NUPGE members.
Employees and Union not informed for a week
“I was advised of the breach by officials at Eastern Health on the morning of the 26th shortly before the matter was made public. That meant that the affected employees and the unions that represent them, including NAPE, were left in the dark for a full week after the information was reported lost. This is unacceptable,” says Earle. “The issue is particularly troubling for the 3,300 workers whose Social Insurance Number (SIN) may have been compromised. That information could do a significant amount of damage if it fell into the wrong hands."
Data still missing
At this stage, the missing flash drive containing the personal and private information has not been located. Eastern Health has been contacting the 3,300 employees whose SIN has been compromised by phone. The remaining affected employees are being contacted by letter. The employer is also providing free credit reports to affected members. Employees who have questions or concerns should contact Eastern Health’s privacy hotline at (709) 752-8929 or 1-800-563-6611.
Members justifiably concerned
“We have heard from a considerable number of NAPE/NUPGE members who are worried about what this could mean for them and their credit rating, how they could be impacted, and how this happened in the first place,” continued Earle. “It is clear that Eastern Health, the other Regional Health Authorities, and all employers must take the appropriate steps to implement protocols to ensure that this type of confidential information is protected and kept private.”
“At this stage we have not received additional information from Eastern Health, aside from the information that has been made public,” stated Earle. “This is a matter that affects thousands of our members and one that we take very seriously. We will continue to monitor the situation very closely and will update the members if additional information becomes available. We will also be asking for a meeting with officials at Eastern Health to discuss this situation in full as well as what steps are being taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”
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