Begins: 26 July 2022 @ 1:30 PM
Location: Northern Ontario (virtual)
NORTHERN ONTARIO –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and Unifor – which jointly represent thousands of front-line staff working in hospitals across northern Ontario – will hold a virtual media conference on Tuesday, July 26 at 1:30 p.m. to highlight the pandemic surge in violence in hospitals across the northern of the province.
They will also review the findings of recent polling of more than 2300 hospital registered practical nurses (RPNs), personal support workers (PSWs), cleaners and clerical and dietary staff among others working at dozens of hospitals province-wide and provide northern Ontario specific data.
“What we know is that hospitals – including in Northern Ontario – are an increasingly toxic and dangerous workplaces, where violence and vitriol against a workforce who are more than 90% female in the case of hospitals in northern Ontario, is not only tolerated, but sadly, largely ignored,” says Sharon Richer, the secretary-treasurer of CUPE’s Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE).
This spike 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.
In July staff at the Sault Area Hospital were assaulted by a patient who hurled an oxygen tank and uttered threats. In the fall of 2021, several staff at Lake of the Woods in Kenora quit the hospital over what that administration said was a 300% rise in harassment of staff.
“The increase in incidents of violence over the course of the pandemic is a major concern and continues contributing to the current staffing crisis in our hospital sector,” said Andy Savela, Unifor Health Care Director.
The hospital administrations at our northern hospitals, 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 and it must not continue,” says Richer.
WHO: OCHU/CUPE, Unifor
WHAT: Media conference about increasing violence against hospital staff
WHERE: ZOOM link to media conference, https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86256926261
WHEN: Tuesday, July 26, 2022, 1:30 p.m.