Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

December 13, 2007 14:20 ET

OPSEU: Staff Shortages at Northeast Mental Health Centre Could Put Patients at Risk

NORTH BAY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2007) - There will be no clinical supervision of night shifts at the Northeast Mental Health Centre in North Bay this weekend due to a staffing shortage.

"We went to work this week and were told this is happening because there aren't enough clinical co-ordinators," said Jackie Smythe, a nurse at NEMHC and second vice-president of Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Local 636.

The union is concerned the lack of a clinical co-ordinator will put staff and patients at risk. The clinical co-ordinator is the "officer in charge" and has duties including directing patient care, finding replacements for staff who call in sick, and managing emergencies such as a fire or aggressive patients.

"We were given no clear-cut direction as to what front-line staff are supposed to do in case of fire, injury to staff or patients or being short-staffed," Smythe said.

The union says that with the shortage of co-ordinators, this could start happening on a regular basis. "The hospital has a legal obligation to keep its employees safe," said Smythe. "The hospital must act now to address the staff shortage."

Contact Information

  • OPSEU Local 636
    Jackie Smythe
    Cell: (705) 471-5811