New Nova Scotia workplace violence rules are inadequate

A good first step but changes fall far short of what is needed, says 40,000-member coalition


Halifax (11 April 2007) – The 40,000-member Coalition Against Workplace Violence (CAWV) says new regulations announced by the Nova Scotia government to deal with violence in the workplace are "a good first step" but they fall far short of what is needed.

The group includes the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE), the Nova Scotia Teachers Union (NSTU), the Nova Scotia Nurses' Union (NSNU), and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The four unions say the new regulations fail to deal with the full scope of the problem because they restrict the definition "to only certain sectors."

“In our response to the province’s discussion paper on workplace violence, the coalition urged the minister not to exclude emotional and psychological forms of abuse, such as bullying and intimidation, from its definition of workplace violence, says NSGEU president Joan Jessome.

“Targeting so-called ‘high risk’ sectors such as health care and education was also seen as short-sighted, arguing that the protections should cover all workers and all employers in Nova Scotia,” she adds.

In November 2006, the Coalition called on the provincial government to enact long-standing draft workplace violence regulations from 1996 into legislation. NUPGE

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