“This is a symptom of a massive, systemic management problem around violence and psychological safety we see in mental health care." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Occupational Health and Safety
“Asking nurses to do double-duty as security personnel runs contrary to the philosophy that there should be a therapeutic relationship between patient and caregiver." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
“We are committed to getting these stories out in the open so people can understand what’s going on inside Waypoint.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President OPSEU
“Waypoint management is only adding to our risk of becoming victims of violence by making us work alone.” — Pete Sheehan, OPSEU Local 329 President
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.