Tue Jun 28

Media Release

Nurses assaulted, Brockville Mental Health Centre fights measures to keep staff safe: Hospital loses divisional court review

November 10, 2015

The Ontario Nurses' Association (ONA) urges Brockville Mental Health Care management to stop wasting taxpayers' money and end the stall tactics that are continuing to risk staff and patient safety.

Rather than use funds on court battles, ONA believes management should instead devote that money and energy to preventing workplace violence and improving safety for patients and nurses.

Brockville Mental Health Centre lost yet another battle: this time, an application to Divisional Court to quash a decision of the Ontario Labour Relations Board in which the Board decided that it had the authority to issue the orders which were requested by ONA to protect the safety of nurses. In an earlier interim decision, the Labour Board issued an order sought by ONA to have security guards available to assist nursing staff in a forensic psychiatric unit after a nurse was stabbed in October 2014.

ONA, the Ministry of Labour and another union all agreed that Brockville's challenge of the interim order was premature. The Court agreed and ordered the hospital to pay more than $37,000 in costs to ONA.

"This employer is flagrant in its efforts to delay actually taking action to keep our nurses, and their patients, safe from workplace violence," said ONA President Linda Haslam-Stroud, RN. "It seems that Brockville Mental Health Care would rather spend what is likely amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars on frivolous Labour Board and court challenges than spend the money where it's needed - in improving safety."

Haslam-Stroud believes that until the ministries of Health and Labour hold the senior officials of health-care facilities accountable, there remains little incentive to take action to prevent workplace violence. She notes that there have been two more violent incidents against nursing staff in this same unit in the last two months. "It is only a matter of time before a nurse is killed in the workplace," she believes.

ONA is the union representing 60,000 front-line registered nurses and allied health professionals as well as more than 14,000 nursing student affiliates providing care in Ontario hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, industry and clinics.

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For more information: Ontario Nurses’ Association

Sheree Bond (416) 964-8833, ext. 2430; cell: (416) 986-8240; shereeb@ona.org
Melanie Levenson (416) 964-8833, ext. 2369; melaniel@ona.org

Visit us at: www.ona.org; www.Facebook.com/OntarioNurses; www.Twitter.com/OntarioNurses

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