“We were clear from the start that any presumptive workplace mental health legislation would need to cover all workers and not just first responders — mental health doesn’t know or care what job you do. We were very happy to see every worker included in this important legislation." — Jerry Earle, NAPE President
St. John's (04 Dec. 2018) — The Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) is applauding the provincial government’s legislation for presumptive workplace mental health that was announced today.
Big win for workers
“This is a big win for our union, the labour movement, and, most importantly, every worker out there who is suffering from their workplace-related Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),” said Jerry Earle, NAPE President. “This government should be commended for listening to workers and their families in crafting this vital piece of legislation that will help so many who are hurting.”
“As part of their jobs, many workers, including a large number of NAPE/NUPGE members, personally face or witness dangerous, threatening, violent, and/or traumatizing situations. These situations can have a deep and lasting impact that can lead to mental health injuries and illnesses, including PTSD,” said Earle. “Today, these members have received a clear message from the provincial government that their concerns have been heard and that they are being taken seriously.”
The legislation that was announced will cover all workers for their work-related PTSD. The government has committed to conducting a review in the near future to look at the potential for covering under legislation all serious workplace-related psychological injuries, such as major depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and panic disorders.
NAPE/NUPGE campaigned for legislation that covers all workers
“We were clear from the start that any presumptive workplace mental health legislation would need to cover all workers and not just first responders — mental health doesn’t know or care what job you do,” said Earle. “We were very happy to see every worker included in this important legislation. We look forward to the review process so we can press to have all serious workplace psychological injuries included in the nearfuture, so that no worker falls through the cracks.”
Earlier this year, NAPE/NUPGE released a position paper entitled "A Call for Presumptive Legislation: Post-traumatic stress disorder, occupational stress injuries, and the well-being of the workforce." This working paper was prepared by Dr. Rosemary Ricciardelli and Dr. Alan Hall of Memorial University. The report was submitted to the government to better inform their workplace mental health review.
The workplace mental health position paper commissioned by NAPE/NUPGE used quantitative and qualitative data from other Canadian jurisdictions to support recommendations for how the province should move forward with legislation on this front. The paper’s key recommendation was for the province to enact comprehensive presumptive legislation for all workers, not just first responders.
On the heels of the position paper’s release, NAPE/NUPGE launched a province-wide advertising campaign entitled Workplace Mental Health Legislation – Let’s Get It Right. The powerful campaign featured workers from a wide array of professions and workplaces and presented the urgent need for presumptive workplace mental health legislation for all workers in the province.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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