Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

November 26, 2008 11:12 ET

Charges Against CAMH Sends Strong Signal to Other Health Care Facilities: OPSEU President

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2008) - The Ministry of Labour's extraordinary decision to charge the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health for violations of the Occupational and Health and Safety Act sends a powerful signal to other health care institutions that it's time they address issues of workplace violence, too, says the president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU).

"The Ministry's decision to charge CAMH sends a firm and clear message to hospitals across Ontario that much more needs to be done to stop incidents of workplace violence," said Warren (Smokey) Thomas. OPSEU represents more than 1,000 workers at CAMH.

"Hospital workers deserve no less than a safe job environment where they can treat the clients they care for without fear of personal injury or other forms of abuse. I applaud the Ministry's actions and urge investigators to crack down on reports of workplace violence wherever they occur in Ontario."


He said the decision to lay charges against CAMH vindicates the recent actions by OPSEU to draw public attention to the dramatic increase in reports of violence at the Toronto facility. Bus shelter advertisements were placed near CAMH to draw attention to workplace violence. They have since been removed.

"I don't regret for a moment that ads that were placed. They spoke directly to the problems inside CAMH that the Ministry of Labour had, to that point, refused to deal with."

Thomas said his union is still frustrated that CAMH is moving slowly to meet with OPSEU to discuss implementation of safety measures such as panic alarms that work throughout the campus, risk assessment protocols and chronic problems of understaffing.

Contact Information

    Warren (Smokey) Thomas
    (613) 329-1931 cell
    Greg Hamara
    OPSEU Communications
    (647) 238-9933 cell