“Waypoint management is only adding to our risk of becoming victims of violence by making us work alone.” — Pete Sheehan, OPSEU Local 329 President
Occupational Health and Safety
Vancouver (30 June 2016) — On June 27, representatives of the B.C. Government and General Employees Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) met with senior WorkSafeBC officials to discuss the dramatic increase in violence inside all 9 provincial jails.
BCGEU/NUPGE pushes for action on increased violence in jails
Representing BCGEU/NUPGE was Dean Purdy, BCGEU Vice-President & Chair of Component 1, Brian Campbell, Component 2nd Vice-Chair, Brandon Cox, Component Executive member and Staff Representative Mike Eso.
The issues raised at the meeting include
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas said the board’s decision represented a huge win for the rights of working people to be represented by a union and to be protected against employer intimidation.
The BCGEU/NUPGE is encouraged that the government has responded proactively with a province-wide briefing of all community corrections employees in response to this incident.
“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
“The government knows there is a problem, but seems unwilling to address the real issues." — Jason MacLean, NSGEU acting President
Early statistics for 2016 suggest levels of violence are increasing and the number of assaults will be even higher this year.
“If policy-makers are serious about meaningfully addressing the unacceptably high toll of workplace injuries, the first step is to take greater responsibility for ensuring the public understands the reality of how, where, and why workers are being injured and killed at work.” — Jason Foster and Bob Barnetson, co-authors Buried and Forgotten
“On April 28, we join with our sisters and brothers and neighbours and friends in mourning for those who have lost their lives through workplace-related events. Then, we once again roll up our sleeves and fight to protect the health and safety of the living.” — James Clancy, NUPGE National President
“I think you’re a good guy, Minister, but we’re going to keep your feet to the fire until this crisis has been fixed.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President