Begins: 25 July 2022 @ 11:00 AM
Location: Peterborough, ON
PETERBOROUGH, ON –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– A new poll that includes Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) front-line hospital registered practical nurses (RPNs), personal support workers (PSWs), administrative, cleaning and other staff reveals a pandemic surge in physical violence, sexual assault and racially-motivated attacks against them.
Polling conducted by Oracle Research for the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) May 17-24, findings show that hospitals – including Peterborough’s – are an increasingly toxic and dangerous workplaces, where violence against a workforce who are predominantly female, is “not only tolerated, but sadly, largely ignored,” says Sharon Richer, the secretary-treasurer of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).
The findings of CUPE’s Peterborough/Lindsay-Toronto/GTA poll will be released by Richer along with RPNs – Dave Verch, Monday, July 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at 345 Aylmer Street North – Peterborough Public Library Boardroom.
This surge in physical and sexual violence against women and racially motivated attacks comes against a backdrop of severe unprecedented staffing shortages and vacancies in our hospitals.
The PRHC and Ross Memorial hospital administrations, the new health minister and the Premier “cannot look the other way. They cannot be silent. They must act. This is violence against women who are on our health care front-lines,” says Richer.
For the first time, since CUPE began surveying its large (90,000 plus) health sector membership about their experiences with workplace violence, participants on this latest poll were asked about violent incidents involving weapons – including, knives, guns, sticks. The survey reveals a jump in the use of weapons like guns and knives against staff.
The portrait of the mental health of the workforce that the poll points to is a significant explanation for the exodus of health care workers and for the large vacancy rates for all occupations in Ontario hospitals.
In addition to the Peterborough/Lindsay data being released Monday, CUPE polled more than 2300 front-line hospital sector members across Ontario.Thoughout July, similar polls of front-line hospital staff experiences with violence at their worksites during the pandemic, were released for Hamilton, Sudbury, North Bay, Ottawa, Kingston among several others.