“We believe that employers and Ottawa are using the import of vulnerable migrant workers to promote a low wage strategy in Canada.” - Ken Georgetti, CLC President.
Occupational Health and Safety
Occupational Health and Safety is a broad area that has an impact on workers in all sectors.
The National Union continues to track health and safety issues emerging both provincially and nationally, producing materials to update and inform our members.
NUPGE has produced an April 28th National Day of Mourning poster to support programming for this day across Canada. We have also been active in campaigns to raise awareness about pandemic preparedness and the need for safety-engineered needles for hospital workers.
MGEU/NUPGE paramedic members encouraged to attend hearing on self-regulation on May 23 in Winnipeg.
“As mental health care becomes an increasing part of every community’s health plans, RPNs are a leading force for continuing improvements in psychiatric care.” -Reid Johnson, HSABC President.
MGEU/NUPGE looking to review recommendations made about the province's correctional system.
"The people who work in our justice system deserve to be accorded the respect and dignity that their occupation deserves. They are risking their own lives to keep all of us safer." - James Clancy, NUPGE President.
Your action can help make a difference for garment workers everywhere.
SGEU/NUPGE says new law improving safety conditions for highway workers is welcome.
"Our job is not done until all workers can earn a decent living safely." - James Clancy, NUPGE President
"We must ensure every worker has the freedom to join a union to protect their interests. Only then will workplace tragedies be prevented," said Clancy. James Clancy, NUPGE President.
“We’re pleased to continue with our power stretcher pilot in partnership with the City of Winnipeg, to find better ways to keep paramedics safe and healthy on the job.” - Theresa Oswald, Manitoba Minister of Health.
International conference participants learn from the NSGEU/NUPGE experience in developing and implementing a successful anti-bullying program.
“The Province has received an independent prescription for safer and healthier workplaces,” said Kevin Rebeck. MFL President. “Now it’s time for action so that working families can have confidence their loved ones will make it home from work every day, healthy and in one piece.”
Ready, set, record!
"Creosote is a carcinogen. Research indicates that there is no such thing as a safe level of a carcinogen.” - Carol Furlong, NAPE President.
"We're hearing that it will be weeks, and possibly months, before people are aware of whether they are in harm's way or not. The stress level for the staff is very high.”
Add your voice to the MFL's campaign at Have Your Say to share your story with the provincial government.
Migrant rights activists denounce federal government for stripping away EI benefits for migrant workers
It is estimated that migrant workers have contributed $3.4 million annually into Canada's Employment Insurance scheme. However it was not until 2002 that some migrant workers started to access special benefits.
"People know that when economic injustice and inequality exist, our families and our communities suffer. Economic well being is a human right that must be protected." - James Clancy, NUPGE National President.
"The message this legislation sends to motorists is a positive and necessary one: give us room to work and do your part to ensure that health and safety is the first priority on our roads and highways." - Wayne Chacun, MGEU/NUPGE paramedic.
Union argues that the policy not only breaches the collective agreement but also violates members’ privacy rights, and rights guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is encouraging Canadians to take the opportunity on World Mental Health Day to learn more about mental illness, as well as ways to promote positive mental health.
"Walmart workers need to know that they are not alone in their fight for labour rights. At NUPGE, we know that labour rights are human rights." - James Clancy, NUPGE National President.
"Everyone has the right to a safe workplace and that includes the men and women who work in our correctional centres.” - Component Chairperson, Dean Purdy.
"No job is more important, and few are as difficult or as dangerous," said Public Safety Minister Vic Toews.
Workers speak out about overcrowding, understaffing, out-dated equipment and increasing violent incidents while Corrections Minister fails to act.
“The fact that our officers will be able to properly protect themselves on the job is a major victory,” said Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.
Short documentary explains the health and safety concerns that forced Corrections Officers at Hamilton-Wentworth Detention Centre to refuse unsafe work.
“The goal for us as a union is to make workplaces better and healthier for our members and for workers in general." - Joan Jessome, NSGEU President.
Issue still not resolved as management has broken off negotiations. In response, the union has withdrawn from all joint committees (except Health and Safety).
“This incident should set alarms ringing for officials at Manitoba Health, and at regional health authorities across Manitoba, about what we’re putting our medics through and what changes need to be made.” - Lois Wales, MGEU President.
As in previous years, Health Sciences Association of British Columbia encourages health care workers who work in patient care areas to be vaccinated annually against influenza.
The Law Commission of Ontario provides the provincial government with over 50 strong recommendations on how to improve the precarious working conditions of vulnerable workers.
Correctional officers inside Ontario's 29 correctional facilities, some 3000 in all, are today wearing their own protective vests in a show of solidarity with their colleagues at HWDC.
New research shows temporary agency workers falling through cracks when it comes to health and safety
"The three-way worker-agency-client employment relationship poses challenges to the effectiveness of agency injury prevention initiatives." - Institute for Work and Health
In federal prisons, “double-bunking” squeezes more prisoners into jails designed to accommodate one inmate per cell. In Ontario jails, most single cells have been modified to house two inmates, and often sleep three or even four.
The B.C. government's Economic Benefits of British Columbia’s Provincial Parks study reveals a huge economic return from government investment in B.C.’s parks system.
Every Saskatchewan worker stands to lose in government overhaul of labour legislation. Have your voice heard. Write to the Minister today!
Concerns that police departments in Ontario are not pursuing justice for correctional officers when inmates threaten, intimidate or assault staff working in provincial correctional facilities.
Over $210,000 was collected to support the workers who were killed or injured and their families in the Hampstead accident in February 2012.
Thousands join together to protest the federal budget by darkening their websites on June 4.
"There is no place left to cut without putting people and services at risk." - Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President.
Tips for emergency preparedness: E-course available May 6-12, 2012 from Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS).
"It is unacceptable that these dedicated workers are vilified in the Legislature for protecting themselves from harm at work.” - Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Increased workloads are getting in the way of providing quality services, say the people who provide support to injured workers.
“The Westray story is a complex mosaic of actions, omissions, mistakes, incompetence, apathy, cynicism, stupidity and neglect,” said Mr.
“Paramedics have been extremely vocal in the recent past about issues that impact on safety and patient care and clearly the results of this survey underline we have reason for concern,&rdquo
Ontario claims inspectors will be taking a "zero-tolerance" approach to any breach of Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.
“Tire experts will say the same thing; if you want the best tire in all kinds of winter driving conditions, you need winter tires, not all season tires,” says Chacun.
"On behalf of the 340,000 NUPGE members, we offer deepest condolences to the families of all the victims of this terrible accident," said James Clancy, NUPGE National President.
This week the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE) was in the print and broadcast news talking about workplace bullying.
Owner and supervisor of Filsinger's Organic Foods & Orchards agree to a plea bargain after the death of two migrant workers in 2010.
The weak food safety and inspection system of 2008 saw 23 people die from Listeriosis tainted cold cuts.
Quebec minister of natural resources and wildlife remains silent about government support for the Jeffrey asbestos mine.
“We are pleased that the Minister listened to the union’s concerns and has moved forward with the implementation of this new screening process at this location.” - Carol Furlong, NAPE President.
Climate impacts like floods, heat waves, damaging storms and diseases like West Nile Virus have recently been shown to have a huge health care cost.
"They are simply asking for the same protection as other fire fighters and for the ability to access protection should they become victims of such occupational hazards." - Carol Furlong, NAPE President.
Memorial will pay tribute to brothers and sisters who lost their lives while on the job.
"Violence is not part of our members' jobs. They have the right to go to work without fear of being punched, stabbed, kicked or spit on. And their employer has a legal obligation to ensure their workplace is safe."
NSGEU/NUPGE celebrates first anniversary of the popular and highly successful Bully-Free Workplace Program.
Ottawa is abandoning federal inspection of meat produced for local citizens in BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Three of Canada's best know whistleblowers from Health Canada received the decision last week as to whether they would be re-instated to their former positions after seven years of legal battle.
Download the latest OHS Insider infographic on Workplace Violence in Canada.
With the right policies and investments, we can ensure workers make it home from work healthy and in one piece, every day.
The National Day of Mourning was established in Canada at the urging of the Canadian Labour Congress in 1984 and is now recognized in over 80 countries around the world.
The Harper government has quietly tabled a plan to cut spending on food safety!
In 2010, across Canada, 2.3 million people, or one in every 10 adults, suffered from these injuries, also known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
A recent ruling from Ontario's highest court that weighs in on the meaning of "regularly employed" workers under the province's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) has implications for the formation of joint health and safety committees (JHSC).
WorkSafeBC has issued nine separate orders at two Victoria-area mental health facilities criticizing the failure of Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) to protect the safety of staff.
New Workplace Safety and Health regulations requiring employers to prevent bullying, intimidation and other forms of psychological harassment took effect in Manitoba today.
Getting management to spend company money on safety isn't easy. You need to know how to build a business case for safety.
Sean Brennan, a Manitoba Crown prosecutor, says the Winnipeg regional health authority (WRHA) was hit with a $65,000 oh&s fine, a $13,000 victim fine surcharge and a $50 court fee.
The federal government today announced the country's first national standard for protective equipment for its thousands of front-line emergency workers.
Phthalates are known to cause health problems like allergies, diabetes, and weight problems in children, as well as urinary tract and testicular malformation in little boys, since they're an "anti-androgen" hormone disrupter.
Listen to CBC's Quirks and Quarks related podcast above.
Firefighters say the fires in beetle-killed trees burn so hot it's like dealing with a forest of kiln-dried lumber. Dumping water and retardant on the flames doesn't work very well.
"Canadians and people around the world are demanding that Prime Minister Harper end his deadly asbestos policy. He can no longer hide from this issue."
'Our bargaining team did a great job and we were successful in getting a very good deal for our members.'
'These proposed changes would not have been possible had it not been for the extensive contributions made by organized labour.'
'I take this very seriously and I expect that this will be a wake-up call.' - Thomas Lukaszuk.
Saskatchewan's justice minister has introduced legislation to eliminate the Saskatchewan Human Rights Tribunal and transfer its power to a provincial court, sparking human rights concerns among labour groups and other interested parties.
Ambulance struck by trailer that broke loose from truck hauling empty propane tanks.
Explosive tensions exist at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in B.C. where 650 inmates are packed into facilities meant to house a maximum of 300 prisoners.
Incident involving impaired driver who fled accident scene illustrates dangers faced daily by public employees on Canada's highways.
'As Canada has become a 24-hour society, the number of Canadians working non-regular hours has increased dramatically.'
A new report from the Calgary-based Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) suggests that employers who neglect psychological safety in the workplace could be legally liable for mental injury inflicted on workers.
Worst score among nine British Columbia correctional facilities in Workplace Environment Survey.
UFCW Canada accuses B.C. government of 'shameful' behaviour for ignoring coroner's recommendations.
Goal of conference is to improve health and safety and create a fairer system for injured workers.
Deaths of two Jamaican workers at Ontario orchard under investigation.
'It is crucial that businesses make mental health and well-being a priority to prevent disability in the first place.'
'According to the Canada Safety Council, 75% of people bullied in the workplace will leave their jobs.'
Are you prepared for an emergency in the workplace? Who do you contact in case of fire or other disaster? Where are the emergency exit routes for your work area?
The Canadian workforce is aging and older workers are making up a greater portion of the workforce. With the large number of 'baby boomers' born after WWII now aging, it is estimated that by next year, approximately 41% of the working population will be between the ages of 45 and 64 (up from 29% in 1991), and this percentage will continue to increase over the coming years.
Bullying is a form of violence in the workplace; it is not part of the job. We all have a responsibility to stop it and work towards a Bully-Free Workplace.
'Most of the accommodation solutions are inexpensive and don't turn the workplace upside down.'
Two companies and four corporate officials face a total of 29 charges for failure to protect the safety of employees.
Health Canada and World Health Organization believe technology is safe, says minister.
'These kids are getting sick at school but not at home.' - Rodney Palmer.
'It's about time," says Jim Gosse of NSGEU correctional Local 480.
'Even if you trust in the food that you eat, in the back of your mind, you're maybe wondering how it's prepared, where it came from, those kinds of things.'
'It’s not rocket science. If we have fewer bodies on the ground and virtually no presence in communities where the work is being done.' - BCGEU.
The only province in Canada to pay bonuses to staff to cut caseloads and reduce services to injured workers.
Report cites staff cuts, workload and ‘inappropriate’ regulation in dam failure.
If you are toiling in hot conditions, protect yourself from potentially fatal heat illness. Here’s a sample Hot Weather Plan you can adapt to your workplace to ensure that everyone is aware of heat/humidity conditions on each workday, and that adequate worker protections are in place to prevent heat illness.
NAPE president Carol Furlong to meet with regional health board CEO.
Unless clear steps are taken to warn and train employees to comply with new Ontario law.
Change in occupational health and safety regulations takes effect on July 1.
Caucasians reported higher levels of general workplace harassment than minorities.
Twenty-two Canadians died as a result of the listeriosis crisis caused by Maple Leaf Foods in Toronto.
OPSEU continues to have serious reservations about an ongoing review of Ontario's workplace health and safety system.
'Employers are earning 2010 dollars and paying 1980s prices for workers’ compensation coverage.' - OPSEU.
Members of the NSGEU/NUPGE Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) Committee met with Hon. Marilyn More, the Minister of Labour and the Environment on April 28, following the National Day of Mourning ceremony held at the Nova Scotia Legislature.
NUPGE is calling for legislation that requires health and safety training for youth before they enter the workforce.
Newfoundland Workers Health and Safety launches a trivia game show!
As of March 31, 2010 14- and 15-year-olds will be required to complete a young worker safety course and obtain a certificate of completion.
The senseless death of a 23-year-old construction worker in England shows the importance of keeping untrained and unqualified workers away from heavy duty equipment.
'Additional inspectors will help reduce the number of hazards in workplaces and, hopefully, decrease the number of Manitobans getting injured at work.'
Study concludes that universality 'reduces influenza illness attack rates, morbidity and mortality at reasonable cost' to taxpayers.
Presentations being offered free across Ontario for new OHSA amendments that take effect June 15.
'Case may represent a huge step forward for worker safety in Ontario.' - OFL.
Scheduled on March 26 and again on March 29 by MFL Occupational Health Centre in Winnipeg.
Criminal charges being laid for an occupational fatality in Sault Ste. Marie sets an important precedent.
'Normal human resource practices' have now resumed across the province.
'How common is it for staff to witness or experience aggression in the clients they support?'
Study at four city hospitals represents the first in-depth investigation of 'role overload' in Canada's health care system.
"Youth and adolescents are routinely engaged in manual material handling (MMH) tasks that may exceed their strength capability to perform the task."
Construction unions in Toronto will be pursuing all aspects of this tragedy to try to ensure that the conditions that led to it are fully exposed.
Workplace accidents related to careless on-the-job cell phone use and texting are growing fast – and the results can be devastating
Wage increases plus steps to address bullying in the workplace.
President Shelley Ward says it is 'simply the safest thing to do' in the circumstances. A decision will be made later on when to reschedule.
'This administration will not tolerate disregard of our laws. Employers have a legal and moral responsibility to protect their workers.' - Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor.
New Statistics Canada study finds dramatic increase over the past decade, validating concerns expressed by peace officers.
Fines implemented in the hopes of reducing injuries and fatalities in the workplace.
Fines of up to $500 will be imposed for using hand-held devices after a three-month education period.
MGEU and other health care unions address health and safety concerns relating to flu outbreak.
Article alarms the public irresponsibly and unfairly maligns some of the most dedicated workers in Canada.
International group of experts recommend health care workers be first in line for vaccine. At the same time, governments in Canada are developing new rules to help doctors prioritize who gets access to scarce treatment if vaccine isn't available.
Exposed to risk doing daily diagnostic tests.
None are assigned to meat plants despite Canada's deadly listeriosis crisis and promises made by the federal agricultural minister.
B.C. and Saskatchewan unions now calling for similar training and safety standards.
'I think we need to look at our whole system and re-evaluate how these calls come in.' - Tim Scharer, Winnipeg Paramedics Local 911.
The number of food inspectors devoted to monitoring processed meat plants would have to double to do an adequate job, union says.
National poll finds that 70% want government to crack down harder on food companies and devote more resources to keeping the food supply safe.
Employers reap gains worth $6.03 billion but the cost in employee burnout is significant.
Premature closing of highway depots meant that in some areas snow clearing operators were unavailable as they had been laid off.
UPDATED May 5 - 'Health care workers providing direct care – in the same room or in close contact – to SRI patients are advised to wear properly fit-tested N-95 respirators.'
NDP MLA introduces private member's bill following tragic death of highways department employee Jim Gallenger.
James Clancy writes to Canadian government as observances are planned to mark the 25th National Day of Mourning for employees killed and injured on the job.
Twenty-five years ago, in 1984, the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) launched what was to become a worldwide remembrance for workers killed on the job.
'Like a gust of fresh wind blowing through the workplaces of Ontario.' - Warren (Smokey) Thomas.
Advocates for safe workplaces have been pushing for more than a decade for legislation that protects workers from harassment and violence. Today, they had some good news.
Massive 2005 survey collected responses from 12,200 nurses across the country.
Needle Safety Regulation Expanded April 1, 2009
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) in the UK report that four in 10 teachers have faced verbal or physical aggression from a pupil's parents or guardian.
Clarification is important because the internet is now the biggest mode of communication that people have. A 2009 University of Toronto survey of more than 2000 students found 50 per cent had been bullied online.
'The portal itself has many potential users, including personnel involved in developing OHS education and training, JOHS committees, and front-line workers.'
Original ruling helped worker buy barrier-free home following workplace accident. WorkSafeNB asked to take case to Supreme Court of Canada.
Darryl Walker says it might work in some offices and ministries if it was voluntary and benefits were protected.
Eight health care groups are participating, including the Health Sciences Association of B.C.
Friday, February 27th, 2009 marks Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) awareness day. On this awareness day the National Union joins labour unions across Canada to urge employers to take these soft tissue injuries seriously.
OPSEU paramedics appeal to Ontario labour ministry for intervention on safety grounds.
23 assaults in September at Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
The Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) and the Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) are again calling on the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to take immediate action to stem the rising number of violent attacks on front-line health care workers.
In less than a year four RNs were injured through violent attacks by a patient. The call comes following the last incident at CAMH in which a registered nurse was grabbed and dragged into a washroom by a patient who sexually assaulted her.
72.8% say support fired biologist Luc Pomerleau
The City of Kingston pleaded guilty and was fined $60,000 in the Ontario Court of Justice yesterday. During the renovation of a public utilities building, workers were exposed to.
More than 80% want cuts to food safety budgets reversed
'The listeriosis epidemic is a timely reminder that the Harper government has reversed much of the progress that previous governments made on governing for public health.'
(Sept 24, 2008) -- 'How many more people must die before the Harper government realizes that public health and safety must always transcend the boundaries of ideology?'
Critics see it as a cynical ploy to deflect criticism during campaign period
An Alberta provincial government employee who posted derogatory descriptions and criticisms of her co-workers and supervisors on several online blogs that she created was justifiably dismissed because this conduct irreparably undermined the employment relationship, an Alberta arbitration board has held.
Survey finds 43% targeted in the past year by clients, co-workers and supervisors
State will try one-year experiment to cut costs of government and commuting
Freedom of information request on behalf of Ontario Health Coalition brings damning report to light
25 years since 3,000 workers gathered at the Ontario legislature
'It would create a level playing field for employers.'
In Honour of Tony Mazzocchi (1926-2002)
Government employees crying for relief from high-tech intrusion into private lives away from the job
Message to federal government on National Day of Mourning
Canada continues to have one of the highest workplace fatality rates
Companies prosecuted for worker fatalities awarded safety rebates
National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job -- Health and Safety Activist Recognition
Ottawa (31 March 2008) - Monday, April 28th, 2008 is the National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed or Injured on the Job. This is a time to mourn for those lost on the job, as we work to strengthen safety standards and reduce the health and safety risks that workers take each day.
45% displayed aggression in some form, CIHI study finds
Workshops planned for union members across Ontario
'Every member deserves to have a safe and healthy workplace where they are treated with dignity and respect.'
February 29 is RSI Awareness Day in Canada
James Clancy interviews biographer Les Leopold on the life and times of a great labour leader
“These new findings highlight the importance of ensuring that Canadian efforts to prepare for a pandemic are continuous and evolving,” said James Clancy
Conservatives focusing more on military hardware and length of the mission to Afghanistan than on the welfare of troops and their loved ones at home
Kim Turner, Shelley Ward, Joan Jessome to make presentations
Tragic crashes in New Brunswick and British Columbia
More than 30 officers invoke safety provisions in Occupational Health and Safety Act
Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) has won a 'groundbreaking' settlement of $10,000 in a bullying and sexual harassment case involving a group of workers at the province's largest hospital.
Recent amendments to PEI's Occupational Health and Safety Act General Regulations, now require specific employer precautions to protect the hearing of workers in every workplace in PEI.
Ipsos Reid poll commissioned by Great-West Life Centre for Mental Health in the Workplace
Doctors, nurses, lab technicians, ambulance attendants and therapists among groups assessed
Big warehouse site of noon hour protest by employees
$250,000 over five years to help train managers and staff
New definition of harassment includes on-the-job issues that include abuse of power and bullying
The Suzuki Foundation has released a report entitled “Prescription for a Healthy Canada”. It highlights shocking news about Canada and our environmental health.
SGEU representatives meet with Kevin Yates
Doesn't require 'rocket science' to understand the threat
Transport minister will travel overseas this fall to talk with British officials
Union interested in 'understanding and meeting' challenges faced by members
Eyesight problem stopped veteran employee from driving but did not prevent him from continuing to work
Problems faced by employees of the Ontario Disability Support Program
Legislation to be tabled this spring with a vote scheduled in the fall
Ottawa following example set by many provinces and municipalities
National Day of Mourning is an event observed worldwide every April 28
Theme of 2007 National Day of Mourning for workers killed and injured on the job in Canada
National ceremonies each April 28 honour the approximately 1,000 workers killed and injured on the job each year
A good first step but changes fall far short of what is needed, says 40,000-member coalition
Campbell government watered down safety standards after coming to power in 2001
'We hope this ... will make all CAS workplaces safer for child welfare workers.' - OPSEU president Leah Casselman
The case of Michael McKinnon has been going on for 18 years
Joint presentation to province by NSGEU, NSTU, NSNU and CUPE
356,000 violent incidents reported; 71% physical assaults
Justice Archie Campbell says hospitals are as dangerous as mines or factories
Unions join in campaign to push for legislation against violence in the workplace
Workplace fatality rate rising in Canada while falling in almost all other countries
'Our members on the front line of Canada's health care system have many questions.' - NUPGE president James Clancy
Calling for a full public inquiry into the threats and the resulting poisoned work environment
NUPGE Executive Board meets with senior official of Public Health Agency of Canada
Massive federal government survey finds that one worker in five is affected
'The counts are up in all centres and are over-capacity.' - SGEU spokesperson Barry Nowoselsky