"WorkSafeBC must address the dramatic increase in violence inside all 9 of our province’s jails or it is only going to get worse.” — Dean Purdy, BCGEU Vice-President, Corrections and Sheriff Services
Richmond, B.C. (24 April 2017) — On April 20, members of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) held a rally at WorkSafeBC headquarters in Richmond to send a message tthat something needs to be done to address the increasing violence in B.C.’s prisons.
Inmate-to-staff ratio now at 72:1
Prior to 2001, the inmate-to-staff ratio in B.C.’s correctional facilities was capped at 20:1. The ratio is now as high as 72:1, and recent statistics from Corrections BC show that assaults on officers and inmate-on-inmate violence continues to rise. The BCGEU/NUPGE urges WorkSafeBC to tell the provincial government that the current inmate-to-staff ratio should be brought back to manageable levels. Unless changes are made, B.C.’s correctional officers will continue to be put at high risk.
“Our officers feel exposed and vulnerable,” said Dean Purdy, BCGEU Vice-President, Corrections and Sheriff Services. “Assaults are happening almost daily. WorkSafeBC must address the dramatic increase in violence inside all 9 of the province’s jails or it is only going to get worse.”
Executive members of BCGEU Component 1 met with WorkSafeBC senior officials in February, but despite the increasing assaults on officers, WorkSafeBC has failed to address the BCGEU/NUPGE safety concerns.
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