The 2017–2018 theme for the Purple Ribbon campaign looks at the power of bystanders. Don't stand by. Stand with.
"My heart and thoughts are with Kellie's friends, family, and his colleagues at VIRCC, and the broader B.C. corrections and sheriffs community during this difficult time." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President
“The funding that has been allocated so far has not gone to acute care adult mental health programs. We’ve got higher acuity on wards than ever, and that is creating violent situations. In our workplaces, there is a violent act each and every day." Ed Arvelin, Chair of OPSEU's Mental Health Division
The chilling testimony we’ve already heard is all that’s needed to justify extended protection. This is a win-win scenario for the government and for workers. It’s the right thing to do.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
This latest violence follows attacks in October 2016, when the military attacked dozens of villages, killing an untold number and displacing more than 80,000 people. Now hundreds of thousands more have been displaced. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that since August 25, 2017, about 410,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violence in their native Myanmar for refugee camps in Bangladesh.
“Until those searches are carried out, correctional officers and inmates are going to be at risk from weapons like ceramic knives. If a full institutional search had taken place, the injuries that the officer suffered at Central East could have been avoided.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
The fact that the province won’t commit to mandatory minimum requirements is problematic and dangerous,” said Thomas. “In the meantime, employers know that they’ll only get a slap on the wrist." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
As trade unionists, it is our responsibility to speak out and to act against the threats and violence that come with bigotry and oppression, wherever and whenever they occur.
“The health care sector represents less than 12 per cent of Ontario’s workforce, but 4 of the top 10 professions reporting workplace violence are in health care. Meanwhile, CEOs of many hospitals and other health care facilities just look the other way while their staff are assaulted." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
"We await PHSA's response and hope they take the opportunity to work with the union to turn things around at this facility, and quickly." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President