Injuries Due to Violence Must End

Members of OPSEU L500 and ONA L054 will leaflet and picket their workplaces on November 2, 2016, in a bid to raise awareness of violent episodes at CAMH and the lack of leadership in the senior ranks, in dealing with this issue.

On October 23, an RN was critically injured and may lose her vision because of the attack. In a similar assault in 2014, an RPN was critically injured in an almost identical attack resulting in a similar injury and yet the ELT claims “CAMH is doing better…”

Employees working at CAMH have suffered 3 critical injuries since the end of August, one of them so serious that has led to the requirement of surgery to facial bones. This is over and above the usual assaults employees receive daily. There is an assault every single day at CAMH.

At the fiscal advisory meeting on October 13, the statement was made “…CAMH is dangerously close to the WSIB threshold…we will be facing a surcharge if we cannot keep costs down.” Again, if WSIB costs are on the rise due to workplace injury, then how could CAMH and the leadership team make the claim that CAMH is doing better?

CAMH IS NOT DOING BETTER, and in fact are writing policies and making decisions that place Nursing staff and Allied Health Care Professionals at risk. CAMH is also perpetuating the cycle of violence against women! Not only are they failing to protect staff, there is also encouragement to tolerate sexual advances and inappropriate sexual remarks and innuendo. CAMH leadership is minimizing the impact of these occurrences every single day, and placing people in dangerous situations.

In one program, female staff performing risk assessments do so without any knowledge or collateral information about the person they are seeing—they have been advised if they suspect someone has a weapon they should “run their fingers along the waistband of pants or run their fingers under the wire of the bra…” now that is simply ridiculous—that clinical front line staff are performing this task when they assess people.

Staff have had to independently call the Police when managers failed to intervene appropriately-but the Union has never been advised by CAMH leadership of this and other risky situations.

We are seeking immediate intervention from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labour to deal with the issue of violence in a meaningful way. The “bury your head in the sand” approach by HR, senior leaders and the Board of Directors is unacceptable.

When will CAMH recognize that yoga and a rousing chorus of Kumbaya are NOT going to keep us safe? We need real interventions, real action and people who care to have a safe and Psychologically sound workplace.


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:
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