Lost Confidence

OPSEU 500 July 7

The Union was not surprised by the announcement recently regarding CAMH and the loss of $1M of funding from the FaaS Foundation for CAMH’s Well@Work Program (June 29, 2016 CNW).

For the first time in 11 years, the foundation had to part ways with a grantee due to “…a lack of confidence…” Hey FaaS Foundation, OPSEU employees lost confidence a long time ago.

And then, to top off this incredible surprise, we see a surprise e-leader yesterday announcing CAMH has made a decision to put the WELL into WELLNESS. WHAT??? We think that they could not put the SAFE into Safety so they decided to backtrack and focus on the Wellness portion of Health, Safety and Wellness.

What is going on? Well, as usual the Executive Leadership Team has had a change of vision—WHAT?

I know, this seems at odds with what they keep saying doesn’t it? Well, let’s see what the e-leader really says…

They have a number of Policies in place which assist and support employees. Hmm, really?

  1. The Psychological Wellness initiatives began years ago, and both OPSEU and ONA fought to have the psychological wellness survey brought to employees at CAMH, but the survey was never brought to CAMH despite a number of other hospitals and independent organizations recognizing they needed to do this and make changes. CAMH actually refused to adopt this initiative. The steering committee has NO union representation among its stakeholders.
  2. EAP—that has nothing to do with CAMH except to say they offer this program. It is actually offered as a part of our benefits package and we have always had EAP services so this is NOT a new initiative, and recently the contract was renegotiated. Some employees advise this program is helpful, but others have advised it was an abysmal waste of time.
  3. The Respectful and Inclusive Workplace Policy—do not get us started on that piece of paper… it is not worth the ink it was printed with. The term endeavour, right at the beginning of the Policy (“CAMH endeavours…”) really means all they have to do is “try”. There is no obligation for CAMH to actually STOP managers or employees for behaving poorly toward each other. They only endeavour to do certain things… and as we were advised by legal services recently, the Policy really has no teeth. To further complicate matters, OPSEU Local 500 stopped utilizing the Policy due to the fact it simply was not followed. Timeline violations and other article breeches which the Local deemed very relevant were ignored while employees foolishly believed they were getting a “fair” shake.

Employees at CAMH are not feeling well or doing well. Our belief in this organization and the Vison and Mission are completely bruised—folks are unwell mentally and then endure a bitter fight with the insurance company to get paid and to try to get well. Thank you, CAMH. You chose Desjardins, and are simply choosing to blame the insurer for our lack of coverage when they simply ADMINISTER the Policy–you pay the bill so you can make the necessary changes —you simply choose not to do so, as it impacts your bottom dollar (far more important than wellness initiatives).

These initiatives should have started years ago, but a regime was brought to CAMH which wreaked havoc on the consciousness of workers, invaded every pore of their being, and has created a great deal of unrest among all of us.

Let us speak about those polices which were brought forward at that time—the Attendance Management Support Policy—HA! Support you say. Balderdash, it is designed to intimidate and coerce employees into coming to work ill. It enforces the notion we are all the same: those lazy employees who take off sick all the time, but are not really sick, we will support you, we will fire you if you are unable to work properly, we will make sure you feel humiliated and you will be well. Resistance is futile. The real issue is that managers need to manage employees if they believe they are abusing the sick policy not throw us all into the prisoner box and condemn everyone. For the record, this writer has not had a sick day in years—I’m still waiting for the wonderful letter of support and thanking me for my attendance-HA! Maybe I am due an award next year??? Oh boy, that will make me feel well!

The MASK or FLU Shot Policy—another wonderful supportive initiative which forces employees to either get flu shot they do not want, or wear a mask. Another great choice offered by CAMH: being forced by your employer to have an injection you do not want. Thanks again for the support!

Gosh, can you hardly wait to see the new initiatives—the local is just itching to see the handiwork of the latest and greatest CAMH Policy to make us all well. Go ahead CAMH; give it your best shot—better late than never, although without any funding one can almost imagine what kind of wellness we all might have.

About opseulocal500

Union office Unit 1, B-2A, (Basement, room 2A), Queen Street West Site 1001 Queen Street West Toronto, ON M6J 1H4 Tel: 416 535-8501 x32330 Fax: 416-583-1254 Email: OPSEU.Local500@camh.ca
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