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Protect Vulnerable Health Care Workers
Protéger les travailleurs et travailleuses de la santé vulnérables

August 29, 2022

Ford Government must take action to protect vulnerable health care workers

The Ford government should be actively protecting front line healthcare workers said MPP France Gélinas (Nickel Belt) during question period.

“The level of violence in our health care system is through the roof. It is a huge contributor to health care workers walking away from their job. One in two health care workers faces violence or harassment at work. Two-thirds of nurses facing violence at work are thinking of quitting their job.

What is the government doing to make sure nurses are free from violence and harassment at work?’’

As emergency room wait times continue to rise, Ontario’s patients are frustrated and taking out their anger on front line staff. According to recent polling by Oracle Research on behalf of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) there is a disturbing surge in physical and sexual violence against the women who make up 85% of hospital workers. The poll found that 60% of HSN (and northern Ontario) respondents experienced physical violence. 65% have witnessed an increase in violent incidences during the COVID-19 pandemic. 53% report feeling depressed and emotionally exhausted because of the overall conditions at work.

‘I introduced Bill 11 Speaking out about, and reporting on workplace violence and harassment. The bill would protect nurses, health care workers and other workers from an employer’s reprisal if they speak out about violence and harassment in their workplace. It would require hospitals and long-term-care homes to publicly report on workplace violence and harassment on a monthly basis.

Is the government ready to start protecting health care workers and support the solutions presented in my bill?”

Minister of Labour, Monte McNaughton ignored Gélinas plea and pointed to the government’s hiring of 100 new health and safety inspectors as adequate to protect Ontario’s health care heroes.