“This should be a wake-up call to the government. How many more of these incidents do we need to see before the Liberals take notice?" — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Penetanguishene (18 May 2016) — Three workers have been injured in a violent incident at Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care, says the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). The workers were attacked by a patient in an area of the building that houses people who are found unfit to stand trial, or found not criminally responsible for violent crimes.
Third violent attack in just over a month
“Three workers were taken to Georgian Bay General Hospital to be treated for injuries sustained in the attack,” said Pete Sheehan, OPSEU Local 329 President. “One worker suffered an injury to his knee and cuts and bruises, the other two were bitten so hard, their skin was punctured.”
This is the third significant violent incident involving staff injured by patients in just over one month. On April 5, a worker was stabbed in the back with a screwdriver and sustained multiple injuries. A nurse manager who intervened was also stabbed and two other workers were injured. The next day, three more were hurt in another attack.
Safety of staff and patients should be paramount
Waypoint operates under a general hospital model of care. OPSEU/NUPGE says the model is inappropriate for the types of offenders the facility houses and does not emphasize the safety of staff and patients, which should be paramount.
“This should be a wake-up call to the government,” says OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “How many more of these incidents do we need to see before the Liberals take notice? These workers were fortunate to have escaped with their lives. Next time they might not be so lucky. How much blood needs to be spilled before our top ministers realize that these workers need to be protected?”
Watch the video interview with Pete Sheehan, OPSEU local 329 President below.
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