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.
Occupational Health and Safety
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
To put it in perspective, the first significant wildfire event this year occurred some 3 weeks earlier than in 2015 and Environment Canada is forecasting an 80 to 90 per cent chance that B.C. will be hotter than average through June.
"The issues we raised don’t just affect the working conditions of our members, they also have a serious impact on our justice system." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President